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Former Board Member Sarita Adve Named Recipient of the ACM-IEEE CS Ken Kennedy Award

Sarita AdveFormer CRA Board Member Sarita Adve (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) was recently named the 2018 recipient of the ACM-IEEE CS Ken Kennedy Award. She is being recognized “for research contributions and leadership in the development of memory consistency models for C++ and Java, for service to numerous computer science organizations, and for exceptional mentoring.

From the release:

Adve co-developed the memory models for the C++ and Java programming languages (with Hans Boehm, Bill Pugh, and others) based on her early work on data-race-free (DRF) models (with Mark Hill). The memory model specifies what value a read of a memory address will return, and lies at the heart of the correctness and performance of threaded programs, languages, compilers, and hardware. By impacting the models of the most widely-used programming languages, Adve’s work has influenced the worldwide software community and hardware design.

More recently, with her students, Adve questioned the conventional wisdom of memory models for heterogeneous systems and showed that DRF is a superior model, even for such systems. Her group’s recent work on DRFrlx provides semantics for relaxed atomics within the DRF framework, a longstanding open problem in the specification of modern memory models.

Adve’s broader research interests are at the hardware/software interface and span the system stack from hardware to applications, with current focus on scalable system specialization and resiliency. She is also known for her innovations in cache coherence, hardware reliability, and power management.

Adve is also recognized for her service to the computing community. As current chair of the ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Architecture (SIGARCH), she instituted many changes inspiring new energy in the functioning of the executive committee, leading to new effective programs in communications, research visioning, and mentoring. With colleagues, she made diversity and inclusion a key focus and led the creation of CARES, a committee to provide support to those who experienced harassment at SIGARCH- and SIGMICRO-sponsored events. Other communities have begun to emulate these activities. Adve also serves on the DARPA ISAT study group and previously served on the board of the Computing Research Association and the NSF CISE advisory committee.

Sarita served on the CRA Board of Directors from 2009 to 2018. She was active on several projects including the CRA Career Mentoring Workshop and CRA-W career sessions at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. Sarita recently organized a session at the 2018 CRA Conference at Snowbird, “How to Stop Driving Women Out of Computing — What happens in your backyard matters!” She also contributed to the research highlight series with this profile on her research.

The award will be presented at SC 18: The International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis, November 11-16, in Dallas, Texas. For additional information on the award visit: