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Lois Curfman McInnes is a senior computational scientist and Argonne distinguished fellow 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/TAO libraries.  More broadly, her work focuses on high-performance computational science, with emphasis on scalable numerical libraries and community collaboration toward productive and sustainable software ecosystems.

In February 2020, Lois began serving as the Deputy Director for the Software Technology focus area of the DOE Exascale Computing Project (ECP).

High-Performance Scientific Software

Scientific software productivity and sustainability:   Lois co-leads the IDEAS scientific software productivity project, which is engaging teams to improve software productivity and sustainability as a key aspect of advancing overall scientific productivity.

During 2018-2019, Lois served as the technical area lead of work on Math Libraries in ECP Software Technology. During 2014-2018, Lois led community collaboration on the Extreme-scale Scientific Software Development Kit (xSDK), which is working toward a software ecosystem for high-performance numerical libraries.  The vision of the xSDK is 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.

SIAM Activity Group on Supercomputing (SIAG/SC):

  • New initiatives to raise awareness of impact and opportunities in high-performance computing: https://siag-sc.org …. We welcome everyone to get involved … join us!

SIAM Activity Group on Computational Science and Engineering (SIAG/CSE):

More info:

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


Publications at Google Scholar

Selected Recent Professional Activities

Research Interests

  • high-performance scientific software ecosystems
  • computational science and engineering
  • scientific software productivity and sustainability
  • numerical solution of partial differential equations and related optimization problems
  • multiphysics algorithms and software

History: Margaret Butler @ Argonne

Selected Prior Projects

Lois served as a co-PI of the Frameworks, Algorithms, and Scalable Technologies for Mathematics (FASTMath) Institute during 2011-2020, funded by the Department of Energy’s Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing (SciDAC) program.


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

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