Mary Hall (B.A. ’85, Ph.D. ’91) is a Professor in the School of Computing at the University of Utah. Her research focuses on compiler-based approaches to obtaining high performance on state-of-the-art and experimental architectures, including multi-cores, GPUs and petascale platforms.
Her research team is developing auto-tuning compiler technology to systematically map application code to make efficient use of these diverse architectures. An auto-tuning compiler generates a set of alternative implementations of a computation, and uses empirical measurement to select the best-performing solution. The team’s compiler can work automatically or collaboratively with application programmers to accelerate their performance tuning and in some cases, produce results far better than is possible with manual tuning. Her group has access to DOE Leadership Class computing facilities, the University of Utah Center for High Performance Computing systems, and an Nvidia Tesla system with over 30,000 cores.
She is also an advocate for improving cultural and gender balance in CS academic programs and industry roles.
“There are times when you doubt yourself,” she said. “We all have. Just remind yourself that you can do it and go find someone who will encourage you. I still need that. Everywhere I’ve worked, I built a network [of people like me] and we help each other.”
Hall talked about reaching into other groups or departments to find and build her network. “Sometimes you have to look a little farther. You look around and you are just surrounded by all these guys – or if you are minority – all these Caucasians and Asians –and you think, ‘no one understands me or what I’m going through’ and it is nice to find those people who you can talk to about that. You help each other.”
Read her Rice CS Alumni Profile: https://www.cs.rice.edu/maryhall