John Hennessy receives the 2017 ACM A.M. Turing Award

electrical engineer John Hennessy wins Turing Award
March 2018

Professor John L. Hennessy and retired UC Berkeley professor David Patterson have been named recipients of the 2017 ACM A.M. Turing Award for pioneering a systematic, quantitative approach to the design and evaluation of computer architectures with enduring impact on the microprocessor industry. Hennessy and Patterson created a systematic and quantitative approach to designing faster, lower power, and reduced instruction set computer (RISC) microprocessors. Their approach led to lasting and repeatable principles that generations of architects have used for many projects in academia and industry. Today, 99% of the more than 16 billion microprocessors produced annually are RISC processors, and are found in nearly all smartphones, tablets, and the billions of embedded devices that comprise the Internet of Things (IoT).

John is the James F. and Mary Lynn Gibbons Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, and Shriram Family Director, Knight-Hennessy Scholars. He was dean of the School of Engineering (1996-2000), university provost (1999-2000), and Stanford University's 10th president (2006-2016).

The ACM Turing Award, often referred to as the "Nobel Prize of Computing," carries a $1 million prize, with financial support provided by Google, Inc. It is named for Alan M. Turing, the British mathematician who articulated the mathematical foundation and limits of computing. Hennessy and Patterson will formally receive the 2017 ACM A.M. Turing Award at the ACM's annual awards banquet being held this June in San Francisco.

"ACM initiated the Turing Award in 1966 to recognize contributions of lasting and major technical importance to the computing field," said ACM President Vicki L. Hanson. "The work of Hennessy and Patterson certainly exemplifies this standard. Their contributions to energy-efficient RISC-based processors have helped make possible the mobile and IoT revolutions. At the same time, their seminal textbook has advanced the pace of innovation across the industry over the past 25 years by influencing generations of engineers and computer designers."

Attesting to the impact of Hennessy and Patterson's work is the assessment of Bill Gates, principal founder of Microsoft Corporation, that their contributions "have proven to be fundamental to the very foundation upon which an entire industry flourished."

Please join us in congratulating John for this outstanding recognition of quantitative computer architectures and impact on the microprocessor industry.


Related News:

"Marty Hellman receives 2015 ACM A.M. Turing Award," March 2016.

ACM press release, "Pioneers of Modern Computer Architecture Receive ACM A.M. Turing Award," March 21, 2018. 

Stanford News, "Former Stanford President wins Turing Award for contributions to computing," March 22, 2018.