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The Dr. Frederica Darema Lecture Series in Computer Science


Dr. Frederica Darema (IIT Physics MS 1972)

The Illinois Institute of Technology College of Science is pleased to announce the establishment of the Dr. Frederica Darema Lecture Series in Computer Science. This permanent fund will serve to help women and under–represented minority junior computer science academic researchers working at U.S. academic institutions.

 Designed to encourage women and people from under-represented minorities to pursue academic careers in computer sciences, the series will focus on providing speaking opportunities for tenure track assistant professors (or the equivalent) at U.S. institutions in their 4th to 6th year. Opportunities also may be given to exceptional junior researchers in U.S. federal or industrial research laboratories in their 3rd to 5th years of career post-Ph.D./postdoctoral studies.

 Dr. Darema is a Greek American physicist, with a career that has spanned physics, and computer and computational sciences. In 1894, she proposed the Single Program, Multiple Data (SPMD) programming model, the predominant model for supercomputing over the last 35 years; and in 2000 she proposed the  Dynamic Data Driven Application Systems (DDDAS) computational paradigm. For her scientific contributions, she was elected as an Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Fellow in 2004.

Dr. Darema received her BS degree from the School of Physics and Mathematics of the University of Athens - Greece, and MS and Ph. D. degrees in Theoretical Nuclear Physics from the Illinois Institute of Technology and then the University of California at Davis, respectively. She attended IIT and UCDavis as a Fulbright Scholar, and was also a Distinguished Scholar at UCDavis.

After serving in physics research associate positions at the University of Pittsburgh and Brookhaven National Laboratory, she received an APS Industrial Fellowship in 1980, and became a technical staff member in the Nuclear Sciences Department at Schlumberger Doll Research. In 1982, she joined the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center as a research staff member in the Computer Sciences Department, and subsequently established and became the manager of a research group at IBM Research, on parallel applications. 

Dr. Darema joined the National Science Foundation in 1994, where she served in executive level positions and led the New Generation Software and Dynamic Data Driven Application Systems programs. From 1996-1998 she completed an assignment at the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA). She recently retired as SES Director of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, where she led a staff of 200, PhD scientists and engineers, and administrators, in managing over half-billion dollars of research funding.

“Opportunities to succeed as an academic in the areas such as computer sciences, are not readily available to everyone,” said Dr. Darema. “This fund enhances opportunities to showcase some of the most talented academics and researchers, those who may not have such opportunities otherwise. The more we lift up these excellent junior faculty, the more we will be able to encourage women and people of color to pursue an academic career in computer science.” 

 To nominate a speaker for the Dr. Frederica Darema Lecture Series in Computer Science, please contact IIT College of Science Research Fellow Anita Nikolich at