Skip to main content

Ken Kennedy academic records

Identifier: MS 0206
Finding aid note: Stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via or call 713-348-2586.

Scope and Contents

This material reflects the multifacted career of computer science pioneer Ken Kennedy, of Rice University. It includes correspondence, notes, reports, research materials, drafts of papers and presentations, meeting minutes, publications, appointment books, awards and more. The materials document Kennedy's work with various centers such as Center for Research on Parallel Computing, committees he served on, the Rice Computational Science Depart, his teaching career, research, publications and awards.


  • Creation: 1967 - 2007

Conditions Governing Access

Stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via or call 713-348-2586.

Access Restrictions

This material is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish from the Ken Kennedy academic records, MS 206, must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.

Biographical Sketch

Ken Kennedy attended Rice University, receiving a B.A. in mathematics (summa cum laude) in 1967. He pursued graduate studies at New York University, where he earned a M.S. in mathematics in 1969 and a Ph.D. in computer science in 1971. He returned to Rice University in 1971 to join the faculty of the Mathematical Sciences Department, rising to the rank of professor in 1980. He founded the Rice Computer Science Department in 1984 and served as its chair until 1988. He was named the Noah Harding Professor of Computer Science in 1985. In 1997, he became the first John and Ann Doerr Professor of Computational Engineering and, in 2002, he was promoted to University Professor. From 1997 to 1999, he served as Co-chair of the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC) .

Professor Kennedy founded the Rice Computer and Information Technology Institute in 1987 and served as its first chair. In 1989, he established the Center for Research on Parallel Computation (CRPC), a NSF Science and Technology Center, and directed it throughout its lifetime. He directed the NSF-supported Virtual Grid Application Development Software (VGrADS) Project, a collaborative seven-institution research effort focused on application development support for computational grids. He was also the project director of the academic partner contract for the Los Alamos Computer Science Institute (LACSI), which is headquartered at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He directed or co-directed four ongoing multi-institutional consortia: the Los Alamos Computer Science Institute (LACSI); the NSF-sponsored Virtual Grid Application Development System (VGrADS) project; the Gulf Coast Center for Computational Cancer Research (GC4R); and the Houston BioGrid consortium.

Kennedy's research interests included parallel computing in science and engineering, scientific programming environments, and optimization of compiled code. His last work fell into four main project areas: the Telescoping Languages Project; the Grid Application Development Programming Tools effort; research on Compilers and Tools for Scalable Scientific Computing; and the Massively Scalar Compiler Project. He published two books and over two hundred technical articles on programming support software for high-performance computer systems. Over his career, he supervised thirty-eight Ph.D. dissertations and he directed the construction of several substantial software systems for programming parallel computers, including an automatic vectorizer for Fortran 77, an integrated scientific programming environment, compilers for Fortran 90 and High Performance Fortran, and a compilation system for domain languages based on Matlab.

Professor Kennedy was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1990. He was named a Fellow of the AAAS in 1994 and of the ACM and IEEE in 1995. In 2005, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In recognition of his achievements in compilation for high performance computer systems, he was honored as the recipient of the 1995 W. W. McDowell Award, the highest research award of the IEEE Computer Society. In 1999, he was named recipient of the ACM SIGPLAN Programming Languages Achievement Award, the third time this award was given.

Professor Kennedy's service to the national community includes time as member (1997-2001) and co-chair (1997-99) of the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC). For his leadership in producing the PITAC report, "Information Technology Research: Investing in Our Future," he received the Computing Research Association Distinguished Service Award (1999) and the RCI Seymour Cray HPCC Industry Recognition Award (1999).

Kennedy regularly taught two courses in the Computer Science Department: Computer Science 515 (Advanced Compilation for High Performance Computers) and Computer Science 412 (Compiler Construction). Kennedy also originated Computer Science 314 (Applied Algorithms and Data Structures) and taught it for several years.

Ken Kennedy died after a long battle with cancer, Feb. 7, 2007. "Rice has lost one of its great intellectual leaders and a great human being," Rice President David Leebron said. "Ken Kennedy early on realized the power of computers to address real problems that confront people and the Earth. He leaves a great legacy for Rice and for mankind."

Excerpted from Ken Kennedy home page at Rice University, and news feature, accessed Feb. 2, 2009.


66 Linear Feet (67 boxes)

31.9 Gigabytes (Nearline access: MS0206aip_001 (31.9 GB))

Language of Materials



This material reflects the multifaceted career of computer science pioneer Ken Kennedy, of Rice University. Ken Kennedy was the founder of Rice University's nationally ranked computer science program and one of the world's foremost experts on high-performance computing.

Arrangement note

Upon arrival, this material was in various states of order. It has been arranged into the following broad groupings, but has not been refined within those groupings. Researchers should emply keyword searching across the entire finding aid for particular topics.

Missing Title

  1. Series I: Centers, 1988-2007 (Boxes 1-16)
  2. Subseries A: CRPC, 1988-1999
  3. Subseries B: HiPerSoft, 1998-2007
  4. Subseries C: Gulf Coast Center for Computational Research (GC4R), 2002-2006
  5. Series II: Committees, 1986-2007 (Boxes 17-39)
  6. Subseries A: Rice University, 1986-2007
  7. Subseries B: Non-Rice, 1987-2007
  8. Series III: Rice Computational Science Department, 1981-2007 (Boxes 39-41)
  9. Series IV: Teaching Career, 1973-2006 (Boxes 42-44)
  10. Series V: Research, 1967-2003 (Boxes 45-52)
  11. Subseries A: Research binders and notebooks, 1967-2000
  12. Subseries B: Research files and notes, 1980-2003
  13. Series VI: Academic papers, presentations, books and slides, 1971-2006 (Boxes 52-60)
  14. Series VII: Personal/awards, 1970-2007 (Boxes 60-65)
  15. Series VIII: Audio-Visual media, 1991-1997 (Box 66)
  16. Series IX: Centers, addendum (Boxes 66-67)
  17. Series X: Ken Kennedy, bios, memorials (Box 67)
  18. Series XI: Laptop, 2007
  19. Series XII: Digital Content

Acquisition Information

This material was transferred from the office of Ken Kennedy in 2007 and 2008.

Guide to the Ken Kennedy academic records, 1967-2007
Luis Arandia and Jessica Powell
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Houston, Texas Repository

Fondren Library MS-44, Rice University
6100 Main St.
Houston Texas 77005 USA