Bhatele Receives University of Illinois Early Career Alumni Award

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Abhinav Bhatele, an associate professor of computer science with an appointment in the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies, was the recipient of the 2024 Early Career Academic Achievement Alumni Award from Illinois’ computer science department.

The award honors alumni that have attained early milestones or showed strong promise toward long standing contributions to computer science education and research.

Bhatele earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in computer science from Illinois in 2007 and 2010, respectively.

“It feels great to be recognized by my alma mater and their computer science department for my contributions to research and education,” Bhatele says. “My time there as a graduate student with Professor Laxmikant Kale provided me with a strong foundation to work on projects that can have a real-world impact.”

Bhatele came to the University of Maryland in 2019 after eight years working at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a U.S. Department of Energy facility in the San Francisco Bay Area. While there, Bhatele worked in the Center for Applied Scientific Computing, which applies groundbreaking computational research to critical national security problems.

At UMD, Bhatele leads the Parallel Software and Systems Group, where he and his students focus on parallel programming models and runtimes, applications of deep learning to modeling all aspects of code, parallel deep learning, and on analyzing and optimizing the performance of parallel software and systems.

Distributed artificial intelligence, a subset of the booming AI field that focuses on the use of high performance computing to speed up deep learning training and inference, is something Bhatele never tackled until he arrived at UMD and established a rapport with other professors here.

“It’s great to have a lot of colleagues in the department you can collaborate with, and people who want to collaborate with you,” Bhatele says. “There are strong faculty in AI at UMD, which makes it easy to collaborate and start new projects.”

Among his accolades at UMD, Bhatele was part of a group that received a Best Research Poster award at the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis in 2023, and he also won the IEEE TCSC Award for Excellence in Scalable Computing (Middle Career) that same year.

Major research awards include support from the Department of Energy’s INCITE program that advances efforts to scale distributed AI training and develop new AI vision and language models used in popular applications like DALL-E and ChatGPT. Bhatele was also the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER award to develop innovative methods for optimizing the performance of parallel applications and runtimes, and the operational efficiency of supercomputers and HPC clusters.

—Story by Shaun Chornobroff, UMIACS communications group

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