In recognition of his “contributions to sustainable computing,” the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) elected University of Pittsburgh Professor Alex K. Jones as Fellow, effective January 1, 2024.
Jones is Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering in Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering. He recently stepped down from his role as Associate Director of the Department’s National Science Foundation (NSF) Center for Space, High-performance, and Resilient Computing (SHREC) for a temporary appointment to the National Science Foundation (NSF) as the Deputy Division Director of the Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (ECCS) Division in Engineering.
“This is a well-deserved honor for Alex and a source of pride for our department,” noted Alan George, Department Chair, R&H Mickle Endowed Chair, and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and SHREC founder. “His passion for computer technology and sustainability has helped to transform the field and inspired others, including his many PhD students.”
“One of the reasons I went to the NSF was to raise awareness for the underserved area of sustainable computing,” said Jones. “I am gratified to have been able to start the Design for Sustainability in Computing (DESC) program as part of my work there and I am greatly honored by this recognition from the IEEE.”
According to the organization, the IEEE Fellow is one of the most prestigious honors of the IEEE and is bestowed upon a very limited number of Senior Members who have contributed importantly to the advancement or application of engineering, science and technology bringing significant value to society. The number of IEEE Fellows elevated in a year is no more than one-tenth of one percent of the total IEEE voting membership.
Jones is internationally known for his research in green computing, which led to the creation of GreenChip, a tool that provides detailed estimates about manufacturing and operational-phase metrics, such as energy consumption and carbon emissions. In addition to several best paper awards from the IEEE International Green and Sustainable Computing Conference (IGSC), his innovations were recognized by the Carnegie Science Awards in 2017 with its Information Technology Award.
In 2023, Jones and Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy Michael Hatridge, along with Robert Schoelkopf at Yale University were awarded $2.67 million from the U.S. Army to develop the next generation of modular quantum computing systems. Jones has more than 200 publications in these areas with funding from NSF, DARPA, NSA, and industry.
Jones began his tenure at Pitt in 2003. In 2009 he started taking on a leadership role in computer engineering after the retirement of Ron Hoelzeman, then Director of Computer Engineering. During an Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET) review, he was named the Interim Director in 2011 and officially appointed Director in 2013. Dr. Jones successfully led the program through two ABET reviews and stepped down to take the appointment to Associate Director of SHREC in 2017.
He earned his MS and PhD degrees in electrical and computer engineering in high-level synthesis and design automation for hardware designs from software languages from Northwestern University; and his bachelor of science degree in physics from the College of William of Mary with a thesis in acoustic music synthesis.
Originally founded in 1884 as the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, IEEE is the world's largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity.
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