Thomas M. Siebel Chair in Computer Science

Thomas M. SiebelIn order to support the scholarly and research activities of an outstanding faculty member in the Department of Computer Science, the Thomas and Stacey Siebel Foundation established the Thomas M. Siebel Chair in Computer Science with a $2 million gift.

Thomas M. Siebel (BA History ’75, MBA ’83, MS CS ’85) is the chairman and CEO of C3 Energy, a software company that helps utility companies realize the full promise of their investments in smart grid technologies. Siebel was the founder, chairman, and CEO of Siebel Systems, one of the world’s leading software companies, which merged with Oracle Corporation in January 2006. Before founding Siebel Systems, he served as CEO of Gain Technology. From 1984 through 1990 he was an executive at Oracle, where he held a number of senior management positions.

An active philanthropist, Siebel is the founder and chairman of the Siebel Foundation, which supports efforts related to education and research programs, the homeless and underprivileged, public health, and energy solutions. His generosity to the University of Illinois has included major funding for the Thomas M. Siebel Center for Computer Science, the Thomas M. Siebel Chairs in Computer Science and in the History of Science, and the worldwide Siebel Scholars program (which annually recognizes five Illinois graduate students).

Siebel serves on the board of advisors of the Stanford University College of Engineering, the University of Illinois College of Engineering, and the University of California, Berkeley, College of Engineering. His University of Illinois honors include the Presidential Award and Medallion (2001), an honorary doctorate of engineering (2006), induction into the Engineering at Illinois Hall of Fame (2010), and the Alumni Association’s Alumni Achievement Award (2013). In 2013, he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


William D. Gropp, the Thomas M. Siebel Chair in Computer Science, joined the University of Illinois in 2007 after a distinguished tenure at Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago. He is a leading researcher in the areas of high performance and parallel computing, as well as numerical methods for partial differential equations.William D. Gropp

Gropp has played a major role in the development and popularization of the Message Passing Interface (MPI), which provides a portal parallel programming model for high performance computing. He is co-author of MPICH, one of the most widely used implementations of MPI and winner of an R&D 100 Award in 2005.

Gropp is also one of the designers of the Portable Extensible Toolkit for Scientific Computation (PETSc), a parallel numerical library that includes efficient and scalable algorithms for the solution of linear and nonlinear equations. PETSc was recognized with an R&D 100 Award in 2009.

At Illinois, Gropp is the chief applications architect and co-PI on the Blue Waters sustained petascale computing facility, and he is the founding Director of the Parallel Computing Institute. He received his BS degree in mathematics from Case Western Reserve University in 1977, an MS degree in physics from the University of Washington in 1978, and a PhD in computer science from Stanford University in 1982. He has co-authored several books, including Parallel Multilevel Methods for Elliptic Partial Differential Equations with Barry Smith and Petter Bjorstad, and Using MPI with Ewing Lusk and Anthony Skjellum.

Gropp is a Fellow of ACM, IEEE, and SIAM, and he is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He is the recipient of the Gordon Bell Prize, IEEE Computer Society’s Sidney Ferbach Award, the IEEE TCSC Medal for Excellence in Scalable Computing, and the SIAM Activity Group on Supercomputing (SIAG/SC) Career Prize. From 2007 to 2013, Gropp was the Paul and Cynthia Saylor Professor in Computer Science.