From climbing mountains in the annual California Death Ride bike challenge to creating a low-cost open source fan in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, NVIDIA Chief Scientist Bill Daly is no stranger to accomplishing near-impossible feats.

On Friday, he achieved another rare milestone: induction into the Silicon Valley Engineers Council Hall of Fame.

The purpose of the council – a coalition of engineering societies, including the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, SAE International and the Association for Computing Machinery – is to promote engineering programs and improve community cohesion through science.

Past members of the Hall of Fame include such industry notables as Intel founders Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore, former Stanford University president and MIPS founder John Hennessy, and Google Distinguished Engineer and University of California at Berkeley Professor Emeritus David Patterson.

Recognition as an “Industry Leader”

“I am honored to be inducted into the Silicon Valley Hall of Fame. The work that goes into being recognized as part of the Hall of Fame is part of a great team effort. Many faculty and students were involved in stream processing research at Stanford, and a very large team at NVIDIA was involved in translating that research into GPUs. Now is a really exciting time to be a computer engineer.”

Accepting the award, Daly said:

“The future is bright with many more demanding applications waiting to be accelerated using the principles of stream processing and accelerated computing”

– he said.

His induction began with a video featuring colleagues and friends spanning his career at Caltech, MIT, Stanford and NVIDIA.

In the video, NVIDIA founder and CEO Jensen Huang described Daly as “an extraordinary scientist, engineer, leader and incredible human being.”

Fei-Fei Li, Stanford professor of computer science and co-director of the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI, speaks highly of Daly’s “journey from a world-class academic scientist and researcher to an industry leader” who led one of the “greatest digital AI revolutions of our time – both software and hardware.”

After the tribute video, Fred Barrez, chairman of the Hall of Fame committee and professor of mechanical engineering at San Jose State University, took the stage and said:

“This year’s award winner has made significant contributions not only to his profession, but to Silicon Valley and beyond.”

At the heart of the GPU revolution
As head of NVIDIA Research for nearly 15 years, Daly has built a team of more than 300 scientists worldwide, with groups spanning a wide range of topics including artificial intelligence, graphics, simulation, computer vision, self-driving cars and robotics.

Prior to joining NVIDIA, Daly developed cutting-edge engineering at some of the world’s top academic institutions. His development of streaming processing at Stanford led directly to GPU computing, and his contributions are responsible for much of the technology used in high-performance computing networks today.

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