David Keyes

Adjunct Professor

(off-campus) KAUST

Research Interests

Applied and computational mathematics for PDEs, computational science, parallel numerical algorithms, parallel performance analysis, PDE-constrained optimization

David Keyes is Professor of Applied Mathematics and Computational Science and the Director of the Extreme Computing Research Center at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), having served as the founding Dean of the Division of Mathematical and Computer Sciences and Engineering from 2009 to 2012. He joined the Office of President Tony Chan in October 2018 as Senior Associate, with responsibilities for strategic planning and international partnerships. Keyes is also an Adjunct Professor and former Fu Foundation Chair Professor in Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics at Columbia University, and a faculty affiliate of several laboratories of the U.S. Department of Energy. He graduated summa cum laude in Aerospace and Mechanical Sciences with a certificate in Engineering Physics from Princeton in 1978, and earned a doctorate in Applied Mathematics from Harvard in 1984.

Keyes works at the algorithmic interface between parallel computing and the numerical analysis of partial differential equations (PDEs), with a focus on implicit scalable solvers for power-austere emerging architectures and their use in the many large-scale applications governed by PDEs in energy and environment that demand high performance because of resolution, dimension, high fidelity physical models, or the “multi-solve” requirements of optimization, control, sensitivity analysis, inverse problems, data assimilation, or uncertainty quantification. Newton-Krylov-Schwarz (NKS, 1994), Additive Schwarz Preconditioned Inexact Newton (ASPIN, 2002), and Algebraic Fast Multipole (AFM, 2014) methods are methods he co-introduced and continues to develop.

Keyes was awarded an NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award as an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Yale University in 1989. For his algorithmic influence in scientific simulation, Keyes has been recognized as a Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society (AMS), and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He shared the Gordon Bell Prize of the ACM in 1999. He received the Sidney Fernbach Award of the IEEE Computer Society in 2007. Author or editor of more than a dozen U.S. federal agency reports and member of several federal advisory committees on computational science and engineering and high performance computing, in 2011, Keyes received the SIAM Prize for Distinguished Service to the Profession.


  • ​​​​Ph.D. Applied Mathematics, Harvard University, 1984
  • M.S. Applied Mathematics, Harvard University, 1979
  • B.S. Engineering, Aerospace and Mechanical Sciences, Summa Cum Laude, Princeton University, 1978
  • Certificate, Program in Engineering Physics, Princeton University, 1978

Selected Publications

  • ​R. Yokota, G. Turkiyyah & D. Keyes, "Communication Complexity of the Fast Multipole Method and its Algebraic Variants", Supercomput. Front. and Innov., 1:62–83, 2014.
  • D. Keyes et al. "Multiphysics Simulations: Challenges and Opportunities", Int. J. High Performance Computing Applications 27:5–83, 2013.
  • D. E. Keyes. "Exaflop/s – the Why and the How", Comptes Rendus 339:70–77, 2011.
  • D. A. Knoll & D. E. Keyes. "Jacobian-Free Newton-Krylov Methods: A Survey of Approaches and Applications", J. Comput. Phys., 193:357–397, 2004.
  • X.-C. Cai & D. E. Keyes. "Nonlinear Preconditioned Inexact Newton Algorithms", SIAM J. Sci. Comp. 24:183–200, 2002.