Kirk Cameron, professor of computer science and associate department head for research and engagement, was recently named a 2021 Computer Science Fellow by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in recognition for extraordinary records of professional accomplishments in technology.

Specifically, Cameron's area of research in green computing -- particularly in large- scale systems that include supercomputers and datacenters -- was of importance to IEEE for its impact in substantially reducing the carbon footprint of the internet cloud.

The Grade of Fellow is conferred upon a person with an extraordinary record of accomplishments in any IEEE field of interest. Each year, just dozens of outstanding IEEE computer society members receive the distinction of becoming an IEEE Fellow. 

About 20 years ago, Cameron along with a team of students, created PowerPack, a toolkit that enables accurate and insightful power measurement of computer servers and data centers. This was the first tool of its kind to demonstrate how to isolate power and performance in a server and correlate that information to the apps running on the server. 

"While this is an individual recognition, it should be clear that most of the pioneering/fundamental work we've done as a team," said Cameron. "Using PowerPack, we were able to demonstrate quantitatively that we could often reduce significant energy waste without loss of performance."

According to Cameron, dozens of academic research groups, including the University of California Berkeley, Oxford University, and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, used PowerPack's power measurement tools to produce more contributions and help grow the research area.  Updated versions are still in use today.

"These systems are better for the environment today in part due to our sustained contributions to green computing," said Cameron.

Cameron said he is humbled by the honor, sharing this distinction with compiler pioneer Frances Allen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Arvind,  and C++ developer Bjarne Stroustrup. "I think being an IEEE Fellow indicates to people outside your field that you've been recognized as a leader and innovator," said Cameron. "I'm confident the impact of our work will continue to lead to new efficiencies in datacenter and supercomputer designs for many years." 

Cameron adds that he hopes his best days for research still lie ahead. "I hope that our past and future work leads to more efficiencies as the world computing footprint grows. Doing more science with less energy, at the end of the day, is meaningful for us and our future."