Donald Biggar Willett Professorship in Engineering
The Willett Research Initiatives in Engineering funds term professorships, undergraduate and graduate student research, and related research activity. It honors the memory of Donald Biggar Willett (1897-1981) who attended the University of Illinois from 1916-1921. Mr. Willett left the University before graduation, just 6 2/3 credits short of completing his coursework in civil engineering. He started his career as a partner in the family business, Suburban Coal and Supply Company, and later, worked as a self-employed bookkeeper and tax preparer. In 1994, his widow, Elizabeth Marie Willett, willed her entire estate to the College of Engineering, which established the Willett Research Initiatives Fund.
David Padua is a Donald Biggar Willet Professor in Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he has been a computer science faculty member since 1985. His areas of interest include compilers, machine organization, and parallel computing. He has published more than 140 papers in those areas. He has served as a program committee member, program chair, or general chair for more than 40 conferences and workshops. He served on the editorial board of the IEEE Transactions of Parallel and Distributed Systems, as editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Parallel Programming (IJPP) and as Steering Committee Chair of ACM SIGPLAN's Principles and Practice of Parallel Programming. He is member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Parallel and Distributed Computing, ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems (TOPLAS), and IJPP. A fellow of the IEEE and the ACM, he was awarded the IEEE Computer Society's Harry H. Goode Award in 2015 "for basic and lasting contributions to parallel compilers, languages and tools."