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Lois Curfman McInnes is a senior computational scientist in the Mathematics and Computer Science Division of Argonne National Laboratory. She received a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from the University of Virginia in 1993.  Her research focuses on numerical algorithms and software for the parallel solution of large-scale scientific applications involving nonlinear partial differential equations and related optimization problems in the PETSc and TAO libraries.

Scientific software productivity and sustainability:  Lois is co-lead of the IDEAS scientific software productivity project, which is working to improve the productivity of software developers and the sustainability of software artifacts.  A key aspect of work is community collaboration to develop the Extreme-scale Scientific Software Development Kit (xSDK), which has the vision to provide infrastructure for and interoperability of a collection of related and complementary software elements—developed by diverse, independent teams throughout the high-performance computing (HPC) community.

Recent updates from the SIAM Activity Group on Computational Science and Engineering (SIAG/CSE):

Lois is also a co-PI of the Frameworks, Algorithms, and Scalable Technologies for Mathematics (FASTMath) Institute, funded by the Department of Energy’s Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing (SciDAC) program.

Lois co-organized a 2011 workshop on Multiphysics Simulations: Challenges and Opportunities, sponsored by the Institute for Computing in Science (ICiS).   See a special issue of IJHPCA, Feb 2013.

In 1988 Lois earned a B.S. in Mathematics and Physics, Summa Cum Laude, from Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA.  Lois and her husband have two daughters.  Her extracurricular activities include yoga, participating in triathlons, and co-leading a Girl Scout troop and service unit.

Awards and Honors

  • Named a SIAM Fellow, class of 2017
  • Winner of 2015 SIAM/ACM Prize in Computational Science and Engineering
  • Winner of 2013 Argonne National Laboratory Distinguished Performance Award
  • Participant in Argonne’s Strategic Laboratory Leadership Program, 2012
  • Winner of a 2011 Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award for outstanding contributions in research and development supporting the Department of Energy and its missions
  • Recipient of a R&D 100 Award in 2009 for PETSc
  • DOE Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow, 1993-1996


Publications at Google Scholar

Selected Recent Professional Activities

Research Interests

  • Parallel numerical software tools and interoperablity issues
  • Numerical methods for nonlinear PDEs
  • Scientific applications involving PDEs, including fusion and accelerator modeling
  • Multiphysics algorithms and software


Mathematics and Computer Science Division
Argonne National Laboratory
9700 South Cass Avenue
Argonne, IL 60439-4844

Phone: 630-252-5170

Email: curfman at mcs dot anl dot gov

Selected Prior Projects

Lois was a co-PI of the SciDAC Framework Application for Core-Edge Transport Simulations (FACETS) and Community Petascale Project for Accelerator Science and Simulation (COMPASS) projects.  She was PI of a SciDAC-e project on Large-Scale Differential Variational Inequalities for Heterogeneous Materials, in partnership with the Center for Materials Science of Nuclear Fuel, an Energy Frontier Research Center.

Lois also was a co-PI of the SciDAC Towards Optimal Petascale Simulations (TOPS) Center for Enabling Technology.  She led the ‘Component Technology Initiatives’ thrust of the SciDAC Center for Technology for Advanced Scientific Component Software (TASCS).  She was a founding member of the Common Component Architecture (CCA) Forum, which developed a component architecture for high-performance scientific computing.

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