Mateo Valero receives the CPEIG Collegiate of Honor award for his world leadership in the field of supercomputing

13 October 2021

Valero promotes the development of processors in Europe to defend its digital sovereignty, the freedom of its citizens and business competitiveness against the abuses of the great powers and technology companies.

The director of BSC will be honored at the "XIII Noite da Enxeñaría en Informática de Galicia" to be held on October 29 at the Hotel Oca Puerta del Camino in Santiago. 

The Professional College of Computer Science Education of Galicia (CPEIG) awards the Prize of the Collegiate of Honor in the "XIII Noite da Enxeñaría en Informática de Galicia" to the computer architect Mateo Valero Cortés, director of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), promoter of supercomputing in Spain and Europe, and one of the world's most awarded researchers in his field.

The most important gala of computing in Galicia will be held on October 29 at the Hotel OCA Puerta del Camino de Santiago de Compostela, with a face-to-face and virtual meeting that will bring together the most prominent companies in the ICT sector in Galicia. The Noite awards correspond to ten categories where members and colleges recognize outstanding initiatives or individuals in the field of computer engineering.

Professor Mateo Valero Cortés was born in Alfamén, Zaragoza province, in 1952. He studied telecommunications engineering at the Polytechnic University of Madrid and was the first computer science professor at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia in 1983.

Valero has dedicated most of his research activity in the field of Computer Architecture, one of the key engineering disciplines in the development of information and communication technologies, and especially in its application to the design of supercomputers. In these two subjects, he has the three most important recognitions worldwide:the Eckert-Mauchly award, in Computer Architecture, awarded by the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) and IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), as well as the Seymour Cray Award, in Supercomputing, and the Charles Babbage Award, in Parallel Computers, both awards granted by the IEEE. Among other recognitions, he has been awarded two national research awards (Julio Rey Pastor, in 2001, and Leonardo Torres Quevedo, in 2006), he is a member of nine scientific academies, an honorary doctorate from nine universities and the honor he holds with more emotion is the baptism of the Alfamén school, where he studied during his first years of life, under the name of CEIP Mateo Valero.

For his significant contributions, he is considered by many renowned colleagues and by the European Commission, as the person who has contributed the most to Computer Architecture in the last 25 years and as one of the best assets in the world, especially in the field of computers, vector, superscalar and VLIW processors. To date, he is the co-author of more than 700 publications, of which around 500 are in conferences, and the rest in magazines and books.

His research activity has been key to the expansion of knowledge and industrial application in computer architecture in Spain and Europe. He was the first Spanish researcher in this field, he has directed about sixty doctoral theses and the doctoral students of his doctoral students are more than 800. His group has been considered for many years the best in Europe and the best in the world, taking into account the quality and volume of publications. At the European level, it has promoted the creation of networks of excellence, as HIPEAC, and research programs funded by the European Commission, such as the Advanced Computer Architecture initiative of the FET (Future and Emerging Technologies) program of the IST (Information Society Technologies Program), which dedicated more than 700 million euros to research in this area.

In recent years, Mateo Valero has focused his efforts on getting the European Union to promote the design of microprocessors developed in Europe, to increase the competitiveness of companies and guarantee security in the processing of digital information. Currently his research is focused on the development of open source processors based on RISC-V technology for the construction of future supercomputers.

“Today processors are fundamental to our economy, our security and for the privacy of our data. Europe is highly dependent on this field and only with the development of its own components will it be able to reach an acceptable level of technological sovereignty”, said Professor Valero.

Pioneer in the creation of supercomputer research centers

Valero has pioneered the creation of supercomputer research centers in Spain: CEPBA (1991), CIRI (2000) and finally the Barcelona Supercomputing Center-Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (2005), of which he is founder and director since its creation. . Currently, the BSC-CNS has more than 750 people, of which more than 600 are researchers who are dedicated to Computer Sciences, Engineering Sciences, Life Sciences, Earth Sciences and Engineering, and that they have in common the use of supercomputers to carry out their research.

The BSC-CNS also offers services to the Spanish and European scientific community, its main infrastructure being the well-known MareNostrum supercomputer, in addition to promoting the Spanish Supercomputing Network (RES), which supports the needs of numerous research groups in Spain. Likewise, he promoted and coordinated the Ibero-American Supercomputing Network (RISC) to unite research efforts in the field of high-performance computing (HPC) in Latin America.

“The evolution of supercomputers, in which the growing capacity to handle huge volumes of data and artificial intelligence converge, allows us to respond to great social challenges such as climate change, personalized medicine, new materials, or research against COVID-19”, explains Mateo Valero.