Carl Kesselman Honored with 2023 IEEE Internet Award

| May 15, 2023

The Information Sciences Institute Fellow will receive the prestigious award. 

Carl Kesselman Honored with 2023 IEEE Internet Award

Photo Credit: ISI

On May 17, 2023, USC Viterbi Information Sciences Institute researcher Carl Kesselman will be recognized with the 2023 IEEE Internet Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the largest global technical professional organization for the advancement of technology. Kesselman, who was also recently named an IEEE Fellow, will receive the award with his long-time collaborator Ian T. Foster.

“Out of the large community of people who have worked on networking and internetworking, the fact that this professional organization felt that what we have done merits special recognition is very gratifying,” Kesselman said. “This particular award is nice because it’s focused specifically on contributions to internetworking technology.”  

Carl Kesselman is the William H. Keck Chair of Engineering in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and is a Professor in the Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. He also holds joint appointments as Professor in Computer Science at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, the Department of Population and Public Health Sciences in the Keck School of Medicine and in the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry. He is the director of the Informatics Systems Research Division at the USC Viterbi Information Sciences Institute (ISI) and an ISI Fellow, the institute’s highest honor. Foster is a Senior Scientist and Distinguished Fellow and Director of the Data Science and Learning Division at Argonne National Laboratory and Professor of Computer Science at the University of Chicago.

Pioneers of Grid Computing 

The citation saluting their work reads: “For contributions to the design, deployment, and application of practical Internet-scale global computing platforms.”  

Internet pioneer Steve Crocker, an ISI alumnus and 2012 Internet Hall of Fame Inductee said, “With a combination of insight and diligence, Doctors Kesselman and Foster developed and breathed life into the Grid concept. Grid computing marshals distributed computing resources into a coherent whole, thereby enabling forms of collaboration and cooperation we only dreamed of in the early days of the Arpanet and Internet.” 

Crocker continued, “I had the pleasure of inviting Carl Kesselman to join the Aerospace Computer Science Research Laboratory when Carl was beginning his graduate work. It’s been heartwarming to follow the success of his collaboration with Ian Foster.”  

Together, Kesselman and Foster recognized the potential of the rapidly evolving Internet to create global collaborations that combined the largest computers, massive amounts of data and distributed teams of researchers to solve some of the most challenging problems being addressed by science and engineering.  

Global Problems Find Grid Computing Solutions

While cloud computing makes global computing environments commonplace today, with their work in Grid computing, Kesselman and Foster first demonstrated that this approach was practical. The Grid technology they developed — in particular the Globus Toolkit, an open-source Grid software — was deployed across the globe. 

Grid infrastructure has gone on to play a pivotal role in many significant scientific advances, including three that resulted in Nobel Prizes. 

The 2007 Nobel Peace Prize
The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) received the award in 2007 for “building up and disseminating knowledge about man-made climate change.” The IPCC was recognized for its scientific reports, which were a collaborative effort by thousands of scientists and officials from more than 100 countries. The Earth System Grid Federation, which was based on the Globus Toolkit, made critical contributions to managing the data for the large-scale climate models that were used to construct the reports that led to the award.The 2013 Nobel Prize in PhysicsFrançois Englert and Peter W. Higgs received the award for the discovery of the Higgs boson (the “the God particle”) at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. The Higgs boson was a theoretical particle that explained to physicists why matter has mass. Until 2012 when, thanks to a worldwide network of computers and CERN’S Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the existence of the particle was confirmed. The data required to do this was distributed to data centers all around the world through the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid.

Rolf Heuer, the director general of CERN at the time said, “It’s been a global effort, a global success. It has only been possible because of the extraordinary achievements of the experiments, infrastructure, and the grid computing.”

The 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics
Rainer Weiss, Kip Thorne and Barry Barish received the award for their work on LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory), which observed gravitational waves for the first time. The waves came from a collision between black holes that took place 1.3 billion years ago and arrived at U.S.-based LIGO in 2015. LIGO is a collaborative project with over one thousand researchers from more than 20 countries. The project used the LIGO Data Grid and the NSF-funded Open Science Grid, which used Globus Toolkit software. 

Praise from the IEEE 

Kesselman and Foster have previously been honored together by the IEEE with the 2020 Harry H. Goode Memorial Award, which recognizes individuals for their achievements in the information processing field that are considered either a single contribution of theory, design, or technique of outstanding significance, or the accumulation of important contributions on theory or practice over an extended time period.   

The IEEE Internet Award was established in 1999 and is presented for exceptional contributions to the advancement of Internet technology for network architecture, mobility and/or end-use applications. The award will be presented at IEEE INFOCOM (the International Conference on Computer Communications) taking place May 17 – 20, 2023 in the New York City metropolitan area, USA.

In receiving the 2023 Internet Award, Kesselman joins a distinguished list of computer scientists and engineers. Of those who have won this award, it is a testament to the impact of ISI that six previous winners have been associated with the institute. Of those six, Kesselman is the only to win the award while working at ISI.

About Dr. Kesselman 

Kesselman joined USC and ISI in 1997. His current research investigates the role that shared data resources plays in innovation and discovery. The systems developed by his group at ISI are being used by thousands of researchers to make discoveries in many different domains, including understanding the genetic causes of common birth defects, recording the structure of complex proteins, and understanding the basic mechanisms by which memories are encoded in the brain.

Kesselman is an IEEE Fellow, a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery and British Computing Society, and the only Computer Scientist who has received an honorary doctorate from the University of Amsterdam. Together, he and Foster were previously honored with the prestigious Lovelace Medal from the British Computing Society.   

He received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of California, Los Angeles, a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California, and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo.  

Published on May 15th, 2023

Last updated on May 16th, 2024

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