Luke Olson named CSE Director
By Mike Koon, Engineering at Illinois
Luke Olson, Professor of Computer Science and Willet Faculty Scholar, has been named Director of the Computational Science and Engineering (CSE) program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
An interdisciplinary program, CSE sponsors several degree programs – an undergraduate certificate and minor, a graduate concentration for both PhD and MS students, and a Master of Engineering (M.Eng.). It also manages a number of research centers, including the Cyberphysical Manufacturing Network (CyMaN) and the Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE).
“Luke assumes the CSE director role at a very opportune time for growth of CSE’s mission as a pillar of our activities in the computing and the data revolution,” said Andreas Cangellaris, Dean of the College of Engineering. “In an expanded role as the director of CSE, Luke will bolster CSE's educational mission by preparing and training our students and researchers in the computing skills and tools needed for breakthrough scientific discovery and innovation.”
An Associate Head for the Department of Computer Science, Olson will also assume the leadership of the Parallel Computing Institute (PCI), which is being transitioned to CSE from the Coordinated Science Laboratory. “I look forward to Luke's efforts to strengthen PCI’s role as a catalyst and enabler of cross-campus collaborations of Illinois researchers in new, application-focused research efforts that leverage the latest and most efficient parallel computing technologies for new scientific discoveries and innovations,” Cangellaris continued.
An expert in the field of scientific computing and numerical analysis, Olson has been a member of the CS faculty since 2005 and an affiliate professor in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering since 2010. He researches sparse matrices, multi-grid, preconditioning, finite elements, and high-performance computing.
A member of the CSE steering committee since 2013, Olson has been selected as the co-chair of the 2019 Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) Conference on Computational Science and Engineering. He is currently associate editor of the SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing. He has served on several university boards and committees, including as a member of the Executive Committee for the Center for Exascale Simulation of Plasma-Coupled Combustion and as chair of the Faculty Recruiting Committee for the Department of Computer Science.
Olson earned his PhD in applied mathematics from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2003 after receiving a Master of Science degree in mathematics from the University of Iowa and a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics and physics from Luther College. He served as an NSF VIGRE Postgraduate Fellow in the Department of Applied Mathematics at Brown University before joining the University of Illinois faculty.