Some History

We plan to present some brief historic remarks relating to the professional career of Bo Kågström at Umeå University (30 years have passed but hopefully there are up to 15 more years to come). The review will include some events and episodes relating to the development of education and research at the Institute of Information Processing, Department of Computing Science, and Faculty of Science and Engineering. Hopefully, the information on this page will be enlarged and made more complete when time permits :-)! Some memorable pictures are also planned to be added.

Indeed, I belonged to the first group of students of Umeå University that read a credited academic course in Information Processing. This was during the Fall semester of 1969. The teachers came from Uppsala University (today, several of them are internationally renowned scientists). Other members of that group of students that still are working at Umeå University include Hans Wallberg, director of Umdac, and Per Lindström, senior lecturer in Computing Science. We all had the previlege to take part in the evolution of the IT field both with respect to the technology and algorithmic and software developments. There is much to say! This includes my own graduate studies (PhD Degree in 1977) with professor Axel Ruhe as my supervisor and professor Per-Åke Wedin as my co-advisor.

During these years and after proposals from the Department, our faculty have appointed two Honory Doctors, namely Professor Vera N. Kublanovskaya, Steklov Institute of Mathematics, S:t Petersburg, and Professor Gene H. Golub, Stanford University, California, USA (1995). Moreover, Dr Fred Gustavson, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, NY, USA has been appointed Adjunct Professor of Scientific and Parallel Computing (2001). All three have made very important contributions for the development of the field of numerical linear algebra. Additionally, the Department have had the previlege to welcome several visitors over the years. See also the link collaborations on my homepage.

Another important event during my time as chairman was the recruitment of Professor Ji-guang Sun to the Department. He is one of the world-leading experts on perturbation analysis of matrix computational problems.

Moreover, we mention the development of High Performance Computing Center North (HPC2N) and its predecessor Supercomputer Center North (SDCN).  Today, HPC2N represents a strong competence network in Scientific and Parallel Computing in Northern Sweden. Indeed, Umeå University was first in Sweden to offer Master and PhD Degrees in Parallel Computing and Kågström's Chair was the the first professorship in Sweden with emphasis on Numerical Analysis and Parallel Computing. The first parallel computer, an Intel iPSC2 hypercube with 64 scalar procesors and 16 vector processor was acquired in 1987. At the time of installation, one of the most powerful hypercubes in Europe. Since then several parallel computers have been installed at Umeå University, including products of vendors like Alliant, IBM, SGI and the self-made HPC2N Super Cluster, which at the day of inauguration (August 2002) was on the TOP100 list of the most powerful computers in Europe.

The Mathematics and Information Technology (MIT) building is celebrating its 10th anniversary during 2004. Bo Kågström actively worked for the realization of the building as member of the MIT Building Committee. It was open during Summer 1994 and since than, the MIT-building is housing the Departments of Computing Science, Informatics, Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics, and additionally, HPC2N, VRlab and Umdac. The Demograhic Data Base (DDB) was orginally in the MIT-building but moved out a couple of years ago.