John L. Hennessy joined Stanford's faculty in 1977 as an assistant professor of electrical engineering. He rose through the academic ranks to full professorship in 1986 and was the inaugural Willard R. and Inez Kerr Bell Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from 1987 to 2004. He served as chair of computer science from 1994 to 1996 and, in 1996, was named dean of the School of Engineering.
In 1999, Hennessy was named provost, the university's chief academic and financial officer. As provost, he continued his efforts to foster interdisciplinary activities in the biosciences and bioengineering and oversaw improvements in faculty and staff compensation. In October 2000, he was inaugurated as Stanford University's 10th president.
A pioneer in computer architecture, in 1981, Hennessy drew together researchers to focus on a computer architecture known as RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer), a technology that has revolutionized the computer industry by increasing performance while reducing costs. In addition to his role in basic research, Hennessy helped transfer this technology to industry. In 1984, he co-founded MIPS Computer Systems, now MIPS Technologies, which designs microprocessors.
Honored with many computing and engineering awards over his career, Hennessy is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences, and he is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Association for Computing Machinery, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
Hennessy earned his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Villanova University and his master's and doctoral degrees in computer science from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Related Links: www.stanford.edu
Last Updated: Tue, Nov 24, 2015
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