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Indiana University Bloomington

School of Informatics and Computing


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Thomas Sterling

Executive Associate Director and Chief Scientist, Center for Research in Extreme Scale Technologies (CREST)

Professor of Computer Science
Photo of Thomas  Sterling

Contact Information

tron [at]
Innovation Center, Office 202


Dr. Thomas Sterling holds the position of Professor of Informatics and Computing at the Indiana University (IU) School of Informatics and Computing as well as serving as Associate Director of the PTI Center for Research in Extreme Scale Technologies (CREST). He also is an Adjunct Professor at the Louisiana State University (LSU) Center for Computation and Technology (CCT) and CSRI Fellow at Sandia National Laboratories. Since receiving his Ph.D from MIT in 1984 as a Hertz Fellow he has engaged in applied research in related fields associated with parallel computing system structures, semantics, and operation in industry, government labs, and academia.

Dr. Sterling is best known as the "father of Beowulf" for his pioneering research in commodity/Linux cluster computing. He was awarded the Gordon Bell Prize in 1997 with his collaborators for this work. He was the PI of the HTMT Project sponsored by NSF, DARPA, NSA, and NASA to explore advanced technologies and their implications for high-end system architectures. This three-year project involved a dozen institutions and 50 researchers to investigate superconducting logic, holographic storage, optical networks, and Processor-In-Memory components.

Other research projects included the DIVA PIM architecture project with USC-ISI, the Cray Cascade Petaflops architecture project sponsored by the DARPA HPCS Program, and the Gilgamesh high-density computing project at NASA JPL. Thomas Sterling is currently engaged in research associated with the ParalleX advanced execution model for extreme scale computing. This work is to devise a new model of computation establishing the foundation principles to guide the co-design for the development of future generation Exascale computing systems by the end of this decade. This research is conducted through several projects sponsored separately by DOE, NSF, DARPA, Army Core of Engineers, and NASA. Dr. Sterling is the co-author of six books and holds six patents.

Research Areas