UO computer science faculty brings home fifth Fulbright award

There are many who would argue that data are the currencies of the modern era. The value of that currency comes down to the speed and capacity with which such information can be collected, processed, analyzed, and utilized. Its newer applications in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) were only dreamt of in recent years. Computer and data science, therefore, have become integral to our daily lives and our ability as a society to solve our world’s most pressing issues, from environmental catastrophe to worldwide health crises.  

Allen Malony, a UO Professor of Computer and Information Science, understands the value of computing performance all too well and will be taking his expertise and eagerness for collaboration to Finland this summer as he partakes in his fifth Fulbright Scholar Award. Malony was selected as the Fulbright-Nokia Distinguished Chair in Information and Communication Technologies to Finland for 2022-23 where he will conduct research on High-Performance Computing (HPC) at the University of Helsinki with the support of the Fulbright Finland Foundation for the entire academic year. 

The HPC machines at the high-end of performance are called “supercomputers” and the most powerful supercomputers are capable of "exascale" performance. With speeds like that, HPC has the potential to greatly and rapidly impact scientific discovery and human creativity. For this Fulbright award, Malony’s research will focus on observing, analyzing, and understanding HPC within the context of the increased complexity of supercomputers due to more specialized hardware and its more sophisticated applications. 

When asked why he chose Finland for his fifth Fulbright, Malony said, “another related and more timely reason for my interest in Finland is the placement of the EuroHPC LUMI supercomputer at the CSC – IT Center for Science in Kajaani during the coming year. LUMI will be one of the largest HPC machines available in Europe.” In fact, it was announced at the ISC '22 conference in June that LUMI is the third most powerful machine in the world. Malony will be working with Finnish colleagues to study how to understand and optimize HPC performance on LUMI and other supercomputer platforms as they evolve. 

Malony’s research in Helsinki will build on his previous Fulbright-Tocqueville Distinguished Chair position in 2017 as a Visiting Professor at the Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (UVSQ) in Paris, France during which Malony focused on pedagogical and real-world applications of HPC. Prior to his Fulbright in France, Malony was a Fulbright scholar in the Netherlands and Austria on two separate awards. Most recently, Malony also received a Fulbright for the Future Award from the Franco-American Fulbright Commission in 2018. Being a five-time Fulbright recipient is no small feat, especially considering Fulbright prioritizes applicants who have not yet received a Fulbright award. 

As a five-time Fulbright recipient, Malony exemplifies what it means to be a global scholar, eager to share ideas and collaborate with his colleagues around the world. “Given the high quality of research groups in computer science, strong technology industry, and state-of-the-art infrastructure in Finland, I believe that my work with Finnish colleagues could contribute important translational outcomes and engender valuable cooperation between our institutions,” says Malony.