Walid Abu-Sufah

Electrical and Computer Engineering
Walid Abu-Sufah
Adjunct Associate Professor

Primary Research Area

  • Software systems

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Walid Abu-Sufah received his BSc. (with Distinction) in 1972, M.Sc. in 1974 both in electrical engineering from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1979 under the supervision of David J. Kuck. Abu-Sufah introduced the first compiler optimizations and program transformations for improving data locality and the performance of memory hierarchies. His techniques are implemented in all modern compilers and his work is widely referenced by reputable computer scientists and engineers. In addition, his early work involved compiler optimizations for reducing synchronization overhead in shared memory multiprocessors and the performance evaluation and modeling of multiprocessor supercomputers. He was the lead of the performance evaluation group of the CEDAR project, a hierarchical shared-memory 32-processor SMP supercomputer completed in 1988 at the University of Illinois. In 1989 Abu-Sufah undertook a performance evaluation study of the Cray Y-MP supercomputer at the National Center for Supercomputer Applications (NCSA) of the University of Illinois. In 2009, Abu-Sufah was a Visiting Scholar at the Universal Parallel Computing Research Center (UPCRC) of the University of Illinois and worked on performance models for applications optimization. He presented his work at the performance counters & PMUs workshop which he co-chaired at the UPCRC research symposium held at Intel Jones Farm Campus, Hillsboro, Oregon, on August, 17, 2009. Since 2010, Abu-Sufah has been interested in the development and auto tuning of high performance sparse matrix computations kernels for many core and integrated many core processors. This includes sparse matrix vector (SpMV) and multi-vector multiplication. His SpMV auto tuner for NVIDIA GPUs was presented at ISC 2013 in Germany. Other related publications were presented at HPCC 2012 in the UK, SC14 in the US, HPCC 2014 in France, and ISC 2016 in Germany. In the last 35 years Abu-Sufah held research and visiting faculty positions in the department of computer science and at the Coordinated Science Laboratory of the University of Illinois. He also held faculty positions in several universities in Jordan and Virginia Tech in the US. He has been an adjunct faculty member of the electrical and computer engineering department at the university of Illinois since 2010.Currently he is actively pursuing research on the development of a library of auto-tuned sparse matrix kernels for Intel Knights Landing Xeon Phi.


Other Professional Activities

  •  Reviewer, IEEE Transactions on Computers

Research Areas

  • Compilers
  • Computer architecture
  • Operating systems
  • Parallel processing
  • Software systems