Research Interests

​Keyes works at the algorithmic interface between parallel computing and the numerical analysis of partial differential equations, with a focus on implicit scalable solvers for emerging architectures and their use in the many large-scale applications in energy and environment governed by conservation laws that demand high performance because of high resolution, high dimension, high fidelity physical models, or the “multi-solve” requirements of optimization, control, sensitivity analysis, inverse problems, data assimilation, or uncertainty quantification.He has named and contributed to Newton-Krylov-Schwarz (NKS), Additive Schwarz Preconditioned Inexact Newton (ASPIN), and Algebraic Fast Multipole (AFM) methods for large sparse linear and nonlinear systems arising from PDEs. Through the ECRC, he now works on meeting the requirements of drastic reductions in communication and synchronization, increases in concurrency for cores sharing memory locally, local load redistribution, and algorithm-based fault tolerance for these and other algorithms.

Selected Publications

Education Profile

  • PhD Applied Mathematics, Harvard University, 1984
  • MS Applied Mathematics, Harvard University, 1979
  • BS Engineering, Aerospace and Mechanical Sciences, Summa Cum Laude, Princeton University, 1978
  • Certificate, Program in Engineering Physics, Princeton University, 1978

Professional Profile

David Elliot Keyes is the inaugural Dean of Mathematical and Computer Sciences and Engineering and a Professor of Applied Mathematics and Computational Science at KAUST.  

Dr. Keyes comes to KAUST as the Fu Foundation Professor of Applied Mathematics at Columbia University, an affiliate of several laboratories of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and the vice president of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). Dr. Keyes began his career at Yale University, where he taught for eight years, prior to joining Old Dominion University and the Institute for Computer Applications in Science & Engineering at the NASA Langley Research Center in 1993. Between 1999 and 2008, he served part-time as the director of the Institute for Scientific Computing Research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Dr. Keyes graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor's of science in engineering in Aerospace and Mechanical Sciences from Princeton University (1978), and earned a doctorate in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University (1984). He did postdoctoral work in the Computer Science Department of Yale University (1984-1985).  

With backgrounds in engineering, applied mathematics, and computer science, and consulting experience with industry and national laboratories, Dr. Keyes works at the algorithmic interface between parallel computing and the numerical analysis of partial differential equations, across a spectrum of aerodynamic, geophysical, and chemically reacting flows.  

A pioneer in the development of large-scale simulation, he currently leads a mathematical cyberinfrastructure center for the U.S. DOE under the Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing (SciDAC) initiative, and has previously led one of the Grand, National, and Multidisciplinary Challenges centers of the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), as well as one of DOE's Accelerated Strategic Computing centers.  

For his algorithmic influence in scientific simulation, Dr. Keyes was recognized with the Sidney Fernbach Award of the IEEE Computer Society in 2007 and an ACM Gordon Bell Prize in 1999. He was awarded an NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award in 1989 and has won teaching prizes from Columbia, Harvard, and Yale universities. He is a member of the advisory committees of the Mathematics and Physical Sciences Directorate and of the Office of Cyberinfrastructure of the NSF, and has edited agency reports on simulation in fusion, fission, aerodynamics, nanotechnology, and other areas. He is the editor of the DOE report A Science-based Case for Large-scale Simulation (2003) and he is a founding editor of SIAM's Computational Science & Engineering (CS&E) book series, and Springer's Lecture Notes in CS&E.

Scientific and Professional Memberships

  • ​American Mathematical Society
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • Association for Computing Machinery
  • Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
  • Society of Petroleum Engineers
  • U.S. Association for Computational Mechanics
  • Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi, Tau Beta Pi


  • ​​Fellow, American Mathematical Society, 2012
  • Fellow, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, 2011
  • SIAM Prize for Distinguished Service to the Profession, 2011
  • Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award, Columbia University, 2008
  • Sidney Fernbach Award, IEEE Computer Society, 2007
  • Gordon Bell Prize, Association of Computing Machinery, 1999
  • Prize for Teaching Excellence in the Natural Sciences, Yale University, 1991
  • Junior Faculty Fellowship, Yale University, 1990
  • NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, 1989
  • Danforth Award for Excellence in Teaching, Harvard University, 1982
  • Hayes-Palmer Prize in Engineering, Princeton University, 1978

KAUST Affiliations

  • ​AMCS | Applied Mathematics and Computational Science