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Lois Curfman McInnes

Senior Computational Scientist / Argonne Distinguished Fellow / R&D Leader


Lois Curfman McInnes works in the Mathematics and Computer Science Division of Argonne.  Her work focuses on high-performance computational science, with emphasis on scalable numerical libraries and community collaboration toward productive and sustainable software ecosystems.  She investigates numerical algorithms and software for the parallel solution of PDE-based applications and related optimization problems using the PETSc/TAO library. 

Lois serves as Deputy Director for the Software Technology focus area of the DOE Exascale Computing Project (ECP).  She also co-leads the IDEAS scientific software productivity project, which is partnering with the community to improve software productivity and sustainability as a key aspect of advancing overall scientific productivity.  Key initiatives that originated in the IDEAS project are the Better Scientific Software (BSSw) site (https://​bssw​.io), BSSw Fellowship Program, and the Extreme-scale Scientific Software Development Kit (or xSDK, https://​xsdk​.info). 

McInnes received a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from the University of Virginia in 1993. She serves on SIAM Council and the editorial board of SIAM News. She served as chair (2015-16) and program director (2013-14) of the SIAM Activity Group on Computational Science and Engineering; she served as co-chair of the 2018 SIAM Annual Meeting and served on the SIAM Education Committee (2015-2020). 

Research Interests

  • high-performance scientific software ecosystems
  • computational science and engineering
  • scientific software productivity and sustainability
  • numerical solution of partial differential equations and related optimization problems
  • multiphysics algorithms and software

Awards, Honors & Memberships

  • Member of ACM, IEEE, SIAM
  • Named a SIAM Fellow, class of 2017
  • 2017: Efficient management of parallelism in object-oriented numerical software libraries, by S. Balay, W.D. Gropp, L.C. McInnes, and B.F. Smith, published 1997, selected for the DOE Office of Science 40th anniversary collection of 40 major papers that have changed the face of science
  • Winner of the 2015 SIAM/ACM Prize in Computational Science and Engineering (with collaborators).
  • Recipient of the 2011 Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award for outstanding contributions in research and development supporting the Department of Energy and its missions 
  • Recipient of a R&D 100 Award in 2009 for PETSc (with collaborators)
  • DOE Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow, 1993-1996

Select Publications