Ian Foster

Principal Investigator, RDCEP 

Arthur Holly Compton Distinguished Service Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Chicago

Director, Computation Institute, Argonne National Laboratory and University of Chicago    

Associate Director, Mathematics and Computer Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory


Areas of Expertise:

  • Computer Science: Collaborative computing
  • Computer Science: Grid computing
  • Computer Science: High-performance computing

Foster develops tools and techniques that allow people to use high-performance computers in innovative ways. He co-invented grid computing, which has become the de facto computation standard for data-intensive, mutli-institution collaboration. As director of the Computation Institute, Foster brings together computational scientists and discipline thought leaders to work on a wide range of projects, with computation as a key component. He oversees the Distributed Systems Laboratory (DSL), which operates at both the University of Chicago and at Argonne National Laboratory. The DSL serves as the nexus of the multi-institutional Globus Project, a research and development effort that provides the advances required to make collaborative computing successful in science, engineering, business and other areas. Globus technologies are used by thousands of researchers worldwide and form the basis of several dozen national and international collaborative computing projects.

In March 2006, Foster was appointed director of the Computation Institute, a joint project between the University and Argonne that addresses the most challenging computational and communications problems arising from a broad range of intellectual pursuits.

Foster's honors include the Lovelace Medal of the British Computer Society and the Gordon Bell Prize for high-performance supercomputing.

Research Projects

FACE-IT | pSIMS | Parched Earth | ShadowingCIM-EARTH | SOLE | GGCMIEvaluating the utility of dynamical downscaling in agricultural impacts projections | InterSectoral Impacts Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (ISI-MIP) | 

Former Students and Postdoctoral Scholars

Sou-Cheng Choi | Quan Tran Pham | Adriana Ciccone | Jeremy Archer