Alex Pothen is a Professor of Computer Science at Purdue, where he has been since August 2008.
Alex was born in Munnar, a beautiful hill station in Kerala, India.
He attended the Sainik School, Trivandrum from fifth to eleventh grades, and received
a five-year Master's degree in Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi
in 1978, where he was a National Science Talent Scholar and receipient
of the Director's Silver Medal. He received his PhD in Applied Mathematics from Cornell in 1984.
Alex Pothen has led the effort to organize the CSC research community in the early 2000's. He was Co-Chair of the first three international workshops in CSC, and serves as the Chair of the CSC Steering Committee. He serves as an Editor of the Journal of the ACM (Scientific and High Performance Computing area), and has served as an Editor of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) Books, SIAM Review, SIAM Monographs in CSE, SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing, the Electronic Transactions on Numerical Analysis, and the International Journal of CSE.
Alex has mentored sixteen PhD students, six post-doctoral scientists, more than sixty Master's students, and several undergraduate researchers. His advisees hold (or have held) appointments at Indiana University, Washington State University, Vanderbilt, Penn State, Waterloo, Australian National University, and Drexel; Google, Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, and Conviva Corporation; and Lawrence Berkeley Lab, Lawrence Livermore National Labs, Pacific Northwest National Lab, Argonne National Lab, etc.
Alex served as the Director of the Combinatorial Scientific Computing and Petascale Simulations (CSCAPES) Institute, a pioneering research project in CSC funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science from 2006-2012. The CSCAPES Institute involved thirty researchers from Purdue, Old Dominion University, Sandia National Labs, Argonne National Lab, Ohio State, and Colorado State. CSCAPES researchers developed computational tools in CSC that enable large-scale computational models in science and engineering on peta-scale computers. These tools included parallelization and load-balancing software, Automatic Differentiation technology, parallel graph and sparse matrix algorithms, and transformations to improve the memory system performance of sparse computations.
Alex was named a Fellow of SIAM in 2018. He was honored with the Graduate Mentoring award at Purdue, and named the most inspiring teacher by both undergraduates and graduate students. He has received the Director's Silver Medal and a Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi, the National Science Talent Scholarship (India), and an IBM University Research award. His thesis and papers with students have received honors in several best paper competitions: Householder, SIAM Linear Algebra Activity Group Prize, best paper competition and Student Research competition at Supercomputing, Homeyer Prize, best poster prize at the CYTO conference (Annual Conference in Flow Cytometry), etc.
Alex and his wife Madhubala Bobbie (nee Londhe) have four adult children. Dr. Joshua Pothen (MD 2018, PhD 2016) is a resident in Ocala, FL; James is a writer based in New York; Dr. Jewel Maria Cary (DVM, Purdue) is pursuing a PhD in Biomedical Engineering at Virginia Tech; and John is doing an MD-PhD at Emory University.