Internationally Know Adjunct Computer Science Prof Dies

February 13, 2007

Ken Kennedy, University of Houston Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Computer Science, recently died after a battle with cancer.

An internationally recognized authority on high-performance computing, Kennedy, 61, collaborated closely with UH faculty members Jaspal Subhlok, Barbara Chapman, Yuri Kuznetsov, Roland Glowinski and Lennart Johnsson on the Los Alamos Computer Science Institute. He also worked closely with Lennart Johnsson, Texas Learning and Computation Center director, on the Virtual Grid Application Development System as well as the original Texas Gigapop and most recently with the RENOH network.

Kennedy also was the founder of Rice University’s computer science department. He held joint appointments as the John and Ann Doerr Professor in Computational Engineering in Computer Science and as a professor in electrical and computer engineering at Rice.

Author of more than 200 technical articles and two books, Kennedy was a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In recognition of his achievements in compilation for high-performance computer systems, he was given the 1995 W.W. McDowell Award, the highest research award of the IEEE Computer Society.

In 1997, he was tapped to co-chair the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC), a congressionally mandated committee charged with advising the president, Congress and other federal agencies on advanced information technology. The panel's 1999 report urged U.S. leaders to increase spending for computing research by more than $1 billion, and it served as a catalyst for increased information technology research support from numerous federal agencies.

Kennedy is survived by his wife, Carol Quillen; stepdaughter, Caitlin; father, retired Army Brig. Gen. Kenneth Kennedy Sr.; and sister, Susan Kennedy.