Prof. Tony Hey

Prof. Tony Hey
Chief Data Scientist, Science and Technology Facilities Council, UK Research and Innovation, London

Tony Hey began his career as a theoretical physicist with a doctorate in particle physics from the University of Oxford. After a career in physics that included research positions at Caltech, MIT and CERN, and a professorship at the University of Southampton, he became interested in parallel computing and moved into computer science. His research group pioneered distributed memory message-passing computers which are now the standard architecture for supercomputing systems. His group produced the first distributed memory ‘Genesis’ benchmark suite for message-passing parallel computers. He also initiated a US-European standardization process for the MPI standard, the now universally accepted message passing interface. He also wrote up Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman’s ‘Lectures on Computation’ in which Feynman proposed the idea for a quantum computer.

Tony was both Head of Department and Dean of Engineering at Southampton before leaving to lead the U.K.’s ground-breaking eScience initiative in 2001. He recognized the importance of Big Data for science and wrote one of the first papers on the Data Deluge in 2003. In 2005 Tony joined Microsoft as a Vice-President and was responsible for Microsoft’s global university research engagements. He worked with Turing Award winner Jim Gray on applying computer science technologies to science and edited the much-cited ‘Fourth Paradigm: Data-Intensive Scientific Discovery’ in tribute to Jim. In 2014 he became a Senior Data Science Fellow at the eScience Institute, University of Washington before returning to the UK in 2015.

Tony is now Chief Data Scientist at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and founded the ‘Scientific Machine Learning’ group at the Lab. The group is working with the Alan Turing Institute in applying machine learning technologies to the ‘Big Scientific Data’ generated by the Diamond Synchrotron and the CryoEM facilities. In 2020, he chaired a US DOE subcommittee that proposes a new Office of Science initiative in ‘AI for Science’. He is a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Royal Academy of Engineering. Tony is the author of several books including ‘The Computing Universe: A Journey through a Revolution’ published in 2015. In 2005, he was awarded a CBE by Prince Charles for his services to science.

Professor Tony Hey, CBE, FREng, FAAAS, FACM, FIET, FBCS, FInstP, C.Eng.

Chief Data Scientist
Rutherford Appleton Laboratory STFC
Didcot, OX11 0QX, UK

Senior Data Science Fellow
eScience Institute
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195, USA

Tel :+44 777 616 5687 (UK mobile)
Tel : +1 425 299 8092 (US mobile)
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