Microsoft Researcher Honored by Leading Technology Institute

Microsoft Researcher Honored by Leading Technology Institute
Microsoft Technical Fellow Chuck Thacker wins the distinguished John von Neumann medal in recognition of his pioneering role in the personal computing industry.

 REDMOND, Wash.,(rushprnews) June 15, 2007 — As a young child, Charles P. (“Chuck”) Thacker didn’t wish for new toys at Christmas.

 Instead, he’d ask for a better set of screwdrivers, coveted by a boy who at age 6 knew he wanted to an engineer.

By the time Thacker entered college, he’d shifted his sights to physics, and after graduating in 1967, he chanced upon a job opening in a fledgling computer project. It was a detour that proved fortuitous for Thacker, who recalls being immediately captivated. In the four decades since, his change of course has proved equally fortuitous for the computing industry.
 
Microsoft Technical Fellow Chuck Thacker
 
This weekend, Thacker’s contributions are being recognized at an honors ceremony in Philadelphia, where he will receive the prestigious John von Neumann medal for outstanding achievements in computer-related science and technology. Awarded annually by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the world’s leading professional association for the advancement of technology, the von Neumann medal honors Thacker for playing “a central role in the creation of the personal computer and the development of networked computer systems.”

“Mr. Thacker’s influential work at Microsoft and in the computer industry — as well as within the greater technology industry — has resulted in fundamental breakthroughs and technology upgrades in personal and network computing, and has paved the road for so many of the innovations that affect the lives of people everyday,” said IEEE President Leah H. Jamieson. “We are pleased to recognize Mr. Thacker, a true pioneer and visionary, for his important contributions.”

“It’s a great honor,” says Thacker, who joined Microsoft Research in 1997 and is one of only 18 Microsoft Technical Fellows, a designation that acknowledges the highest order of technical leadership within the company. “But in reality, the work that’s being honored, which is essentially the development of the first PC, was a large team effort.”

Thacker points out that the core team included Alan Kay, Robert Taylor and Butler Lampson, the last also a Technical Fellow and Microsoft Research colleague. In 2004, the National Academy of Engineering jointly awarded the four men the Charles Stark Draper Prize — considered the Nobel Prize of engineering — for the same set of work recognized by the IEEE’s von Neumann medal.
A Career Built on Technology Innovation

For Thacker, that work began when he joined the Genie research project at the University of California at Berkeley, where he’d earned his undergraduate degree.

The Genie project, which focused on building a time-sharing computing system, soon morphed into a startup called Berkeley Computer Corp. (BCC). Two years later, when the company failed during the 1970 recession, Thacker and a core group of his BCC colleagues joined forces with Taylor, who was then starting up a new computer science lab at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC).

Thacker would eventually spend 13 years at PARC. Early on, he led the effort to develop a time-sharing system called the Multiple Access Xerox Computer (MAXC). It was one of the first systems to use DRAM, a semiconductor memory technology introduced at the time by Intel. Thacker recalls understanding exactly what Intel founder Gordon Moore said about silicon density. Clearly, as transistors became cheaper, hardware designers could use more of them at less cost, a trend that lessened the importance of developing large-scale systems intended to be shared.

“Instead of building a system where the human is servant to the computer — the way it had worked up until then — we decided to build a system where the computer is in the service of the human,” Thacker explains.

That new way of thinking led the PARC team to search out a better user interface and ultimately choose a novel device called a mouse, which had been invented shortly before by Douglas Englebart of SRI. Another innovation of the PARC lab was a bit-mapped display in which every pixel on screen was represented by one bit of memory.

“For the first time, you could do something that closely approximated the properties of paper,” Thacker explains. “So anything you could print in black and white, you could display on screen.”

Both innovations — mouse and bit-mapped display — became part of the first personal computer, the Alto, a project for which Thacker served as chief hardware designer. Around the same time that he and his colleagues were building that first PC, they built another system that he remembers Xerox liking a lot — the laser printer. The idea of servers also grew out of the PARC lab, which in turn led to a desire to hook all those pieces together using a network. The PARC researchers considered several alternatives, then settled on one that eventually became Ethernet.

Thacker, a co-inventor of Ethernet local area network technology, notes that it has evolved from 3 megabits per second to today’s 1,000 megabits (1 gigabit) per second, but the fundamental ideas of transferring information as packets and the routing function that guides those packets through the network remain essentially the same 30 years later.
When Hardware Met Software

By 1983, Thacker had built several generations of systems and was looking for new things to do. But when Xerox management decided to spend more money on physics and less on computing going forward, he and others in the laboratory left PARC. It was about then that Thacker first visited the campus of a small company called Microsoft and met its co-founder, Bill Gates, over lunch. A former PARC colleague, Charles Simonyi, who’d joined Microsoft in 1981, had invited Thacker to visit, suggesting that he might want to work there.

“[Not taking that job] was the biggest financial mistake I ever made,” Thacker says, laughing ruefully. “But Microsoft was completely a software company then, and there was no place for a hardware guy.”

Instead, Thacker and a number of other PARC veterans joined computer maker Digital Equipment Corp. in 1983 to start up another research lab. His years at DEC saw Thacker leading the development of a multiprocessor workstation and the first Alpha-architecture multiprocessor, as well as working extensively in computer networking.
Great Minds Think Alike
Other Microsoft Researchers who recently received industry recognition include:
• Andrew Blake — Silver Medal, Royal Academy of Engineering
 
• Surajit Chaudhuri — Fellow, Association for Computer Machinery (ACM)
 
• Jennifer Chayes — Fellow, mathematics, American Association for the Advancement of Science
 
• Susan Dumais — Fellow, ACM
 
• Albert Greenberg — Fellow, ACM
 
• Tony Hoare — Foreign Associate, National Academy of Engineering
 
• Hsiao-Wuen Hon — Fellow, IEEE
 
• Jim Larus — Fellow, ACM
 
• John Platt — Technical Achievement Award, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
 
• George Robertson — CHI Academy inductee
 
• Oded Schramm — George Pólya Prize, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
 
• Mike Schroeder — Outstanding Innovation Award, ACM’s Special Interest Group for Security, Audit and Control
 
• Harry Shum — Fellow, ACM
 
• Feng Zhao — Distinguished Engineer, ACM
 
 
The idea of working at Microsoft surfaced again in 1997. Thacker helped establish a Microsoft Research lab, led by Roger Needham, in Cambridge, England. By the time that two-year assignment ended, the U.K. Microsoft Research center was up to 40 people and well on its way to its current status as one of the premier systems labs in Europe. Its success paved the way for Microsoft Research to set up additional labs, including facilities in Beijing, China; Bangalore, India; and Mountain View, Calif.
Microsoft researchers Susan Dumais (L), Jim Larius, Albert Greenberg and Harry Shum recently received industry recognition for their work at Microsoft Research. 
Click here for a larger version.
 

After returning to the United States in 1999, Thacker joined a product group to develop prototypes of Microsoft’s Tablet PC. More recently, he worked on a project focused on designing low-cost computer systems to promote education in developing countries. Like most of the projects he’s worked on throughout his career, that effort needed someone who could “straddle the boundary between hardware and software.”

His current position at Microsoft Research is no different. Thacker is setting up a group at the Silicon Valley lab that focuses on computer architecture research. He describes this work as the discipline within computer science that studies the structure of computers and how they should be built to deliver the highest performance at the lowest cost.

Thacker explains: “Microsoft Research decided to get into architecture research because significant changes are happening in the base technologies out of which computers are built, and those changes are causing a lot of challenges to bubble up to the level of the software.”

Until now, Thacker has been one of a rare few hardware architects at Microsoft, but he’s actively drawing on his 35 years of experience to recruit, interview and hire researchers who can help the new architecture group grow. Microsoft is “in it for the long term,” Thacker explains, and Microsoft Research has strong support from management to develop a greater level of understanding in areas that stretch beyond the company’s core business.

In his current role, Thacker also works with a consortium of academics representing major computer science research universities. Known as the Research Accelerator for Multiple Processors (RAMP) program, the group seeks to enable more controlled experiments in computer architecture by building a machine designed with field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) rather than costly, specialized chips. Recognizing the value that such an emulator would have for architecture research, Thacker is deeply involved in the project’s manufacturing and engineering efforts. He envisions those machines eventually becoming available to academics as well as the architecture group at Microsoft Research and other industrial laboratories. He expects they will serve as a good resource for revitalizing architecture research, an area of innovation that he’s especially interested in.

“I think architecture research has been moribund for a decade,” he says. “A lot of computer science has moved to be highly theoretical as opposed to being more practical, and architecture research has become incremental rather than revolutionary. It’s good to have a solid theoretical foundation for what you do, but in the end it’s about people using computers. I’m an engineer. And an engineer wants to make the world better by building better machinery and better technology.”
Still Room for Breakthroughs

Thacker believes that the changes occurring today in the semiconductor industry hold great promise for the future of innovation. He predicts that the fundamental shift toward a multiprocessing architectural model will have as profound an effect on the computing industry as the first two major shifts he’s had the good fortune to witness during his long career — from time-sharing to personal computing, and from single-machine to wide-area networked computing.

“Computer performance will continue to increase, but it will be delivered to us in new and unfamiliar ways,” he says. “Figuring out how to harness this new and unfamiliar model of more processors rather than faster processors is a tremendous challenge, and it will be with us long after I retire.”

Retirement clearly isn’t a prospect Thacker gives much thought to these days. At 64, he is still inspired by his work in computer architecture, a field he holds in common with the namesake of the IEEE medal he’s being honored with. John von Neumann was a mathematician by profession, Thacker explains, but he was very definitely a computer architect, especially toward the end of his career. In an influential mid-1940s report written with fellow mathematician Herman Goldstine, von Neumann laid out an organizational structure that became the blueprint for building electronic computers. Known as the von Neumann architecture, the approach continues to define the fundamental way a computer works, 60 years later.

“Chuck’s remarkable body of work speaks for itself,” says Roy Levin, director of Microsoft Research Silicon Valley. “We are privileged to have him working at our Silicon Valley lab. It is always an honor when our researchers receive recognition for advancing the state of the art in computer science, as Chuck has done so impressively.” 

A longtime resident of Silicon Valley, Thacker has been happily married for 43 years and has two adult daughters. In his leisure time, he enjoys travel and reading, but he confesses that his mind is on work much of the time.

“I’m the ultimate nerd,” admits Thacker, who was also named a Fellow recently by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. “But I’m also one of the luckiest people around. I’m doing a job that, if my employers were not willing to pay me, I would be perfectly happy to pay them.”
-END-

RUSH PR NEWS newswire and press release services at www.rushprnews.com
Anne Howard www.annehowardpublicist.com writer and publicist

xosotin chelseathông tin chuyển nhượngcâu lạc bộ bóng đá arsenalbóng đá atalantabundesligacầu thủ haalandUEFAevertonxosokeonhacaiketquabongdalichthidau7m.newskqbdtysokeobongdabongdalufutebol ao vivofutemaxmulticanaisonbethttps://bsport.fithttps://onbet88.ooohttps://i9bet.bizhttps://hi88.ooohttps://okvip.athttps://f8bet.athttps://fb88.cashhttps://vn88.cashhttps://shbet.atbóng đá world cupbóng đá inter milantin juventusbenzemala ligaclb leicester cityMUman citymessi lionelsalahnapolineymarpsgronaldoserie atottenhamvalenciaAS ROMALeverkusenac milanmbappenapolinewcastleaston villaliverpoolfa cupreal madridpremier leagueAjaxbao bong da247EPLbarcelonabournemouthaff cupasean footballbên lề sân cỏbáo bóng đá mớibóng đá cúp thế giớitin bóng đá ViệtUEFAbáo bóng đá việt namHuyền thoại bóng đágiải ngoại hạng anhSeagametap chi bong da the gioitin bong da lutrận đấu hôm nayviệt nam bóng đátin nong bong daBóng đá nữthể thao 7m24h bóng đábóng đá hôm naythe thao ngoai hang anhtin nhanh bóng đáphòng thay đồ bóng đábóng đá phủikèo nhà cái onbetbóng đá lu 2thông tin phòng thay đồthe thao vuaapp đánh lô đềdudoanxosoxổ số giải đặc biệthôm nay xổ sốkèo đẹp hôm nayketquaxosokq xskqxsmnsoi cầu ba miềnsoi cau thong kesxkt hôm naythế giới xổ sốxổ số 24hxo.soxoso3mienxo so ba mienxoso dac bietxosodientoanxổ số dự đoánvé số chiều xổxoso ket quaxosokienthietxoso kq hôm nayxoso ktxổ số megaxổ số mới nhất hôm nayxoso truc tiepxoso ViệtSX3MIENxs dự đoánxs mien bac hom nayxs miên namxsmientrungxsmn thu 7con số may mắn hôm nayKQXS 3 miền Bắc Trung Nam Nhanhdự đoán xổ số 3 miềndò vé sốdu doan xo so hom nayket qua xo xoket qua xo so.vntrúng thưởng xo sokq xoso trực tiếpket qua xskqxs 247số miền nams0x0 mienbacxosobamien hôm naysố đẹp hôm naysố đẹp trực tuyếnnuôi số đẹpxo so hom quaxoso ketquaxstruc tiep hom nayxổ số kiến thiết trực tiếpxổ số kq hôm nayso xo kq trực tuyenkết quả xổ số miền bắc trực tiếpxo so miền namxổ số miền nam trực tiếptrực tiếp xổ số hôm nayket wa xsKQ XOSOxoso onlinexo so truc tiep hom nayxsttso mien bac trong ngàyKQXS3Msố so mien bacdu doan xo so onlinedu doan cau loxổ số kenokqxs vnKQXOSOKQXS hôm naytrực tiếp kết quả xổ số ba miềncap lo dep nhat hom naysoi cầu chuẩn hôm nayso ket qua xo soXem kết quả xổ số nhanh nhấtSX3MIENXSMB chủ nhậtKQXSMNkết quả mở giải trực tuyếnGiờ vàng chốt số OnlineĐánh Đề Con Gìdò số miền namdò vé số hôm nayso mo so debach thủ lô đẹp nhất hôm naycầu đề hôm naykết quả xổ số kiến thiết toàn quốccau dep 88xsmb rong bach kimket qua xs 2023dự đoán xổ số hàng ngàyBạch thủ đề miền BắcSoi Cầu MB thần tàisoi cau vip 247soi cầu tốtsoi cầu miễn phísoi cau mb vipxsmb hom nayxs vietlottxsmn hôm naycầu lô đẹpthống kê lô kép xổ số miền Bắcquay thử xsmnxổ số thần tàiQuay thử XSMTxổ số chiều nayxo so mien nam hom nayweb đánh lô đề trực tuyến uy tínKQXS hôm nayxsmb ngày hôm nayXSMT chủ nhậtxổ số Power 6/55KQXS A trúng roycao thủ chốt sốbảng xổ số đặc biệtsoi cầu 247 vipsoi cầu wap 666Soi cầu miễn phí 888 VIPSoi Cau Chuan MBđộc thủ desố miền bắcthần tài cho sốKết quả xổ số thần tàiXem trực tiếp xổ sốXIN SỐ THẦN TÀI THỔ ĐỊACầu lô số đẹplô đẹp vip 24hsoi cầu miễn phí 888xổ số kiến thiết chiều nayXSMN thứ 7 hàng tuầnKết quả Xổ số Hồ Chí Minhnhà cái xổ số Việt NamXổ Số Đại PhátXổ số mới nhất Hôm Nayso xo mb hom nayxxmb88quay thu mbXo so Minh ChinhXS Minh Ngọc trực tiếp hôm nayXSMN 88XSTDxs than taixổ số UY TIN NHẤTxs vietlott 88SOI CẦU SIÊU CHUẨNSoiCauVietlô đẹp hôm nay vipket qua so xo hom naykqxsmb 30 ngàydự đoán xổ số 3 miềnSoi cầu 3 càng chuẩn xácbạch thủ lônuoi lo chuanbắt lô chuẩn theo ngàykq xo-solô 3 càngnuôi lô đề siêu vipcầu Lô Xiên XSMBđề về bao nhiêuSoi cầu x3xổ số kiến thiết ngày hôm nayquay thử xsmttruc tiep kết quả sxmntrực tiếp miền bắckết quả xổ số chấm vnbảng xs đặc biệt năm 2023soi cau xsmbxổ số hà nội hôm naysxmtxsmt hôm nayxs truc tiep mbketqua xo so onlinekqxs onlinexo số hôm nayXS3MTin xs hôm nayxsmn thu2XSMN hom nayxổ số miền bắc trực tiếp hôm naySO XOxsmbsxmn hôm nay188betlink188 xo sosoi cầu vip 88lô tô việtsoi lô việtXS247xs ba miềnchốt lô đẹp nhất hôm naychốt số xsmbCHƠI LÔ TÔsoi cau mn hom naychốt lô chuẩndu doan sxmtdự đoán xổ số onlinerồng bạch kim chốt 3 càng miễn phí hôm naythống kê lô gan miền bắcdàn đề lôCầu Kèo Đặc Biệtchốt cầu may mắnkết quả xổ số miền bắc hômSoi cầu vàng 777thẻ bài onlinedu doan mn 888soi cầu miền nam vipsoi cầu mt vipdàn de hôm nay7 cao thủ chốt sốsoi cau mien phi 7777 cao thủ chốt số nức tiếng3 càng miền bắcrồng bạch kim 777dàn de bất bạion newsddxsmn188betw88w88789bettf88sin88suvipsunwintf88five8812betsv88vn88Top 10 nhà cái uy tínsky88iwinlucky88nhacaisin88oxbetm88vn88w88789betiwinf8betrio66rio66lucky88oxbetvn88188bet789betMay-88five88one88sin88bk88xbetoxbetMU88188BETSV88RIO66ONBET88188betM88M88SV88Jun-68Jun-88one88iwinv9betw388OXBETw388w388onbetonbetonbetonbet88onbet88onbet88onbet88onbetonbetonbetonbetqh88mu88Nhà cái uy tínpog79vp777vp777vipbetvipbetuk88uk88typhu88typhu88tk88tk88sm66sm66me88me888live8live8livesm66me88win798livesm66me88win79pog79pog79vp777vp777uk88uk88tk88tk88luck8luck8kingbet86kingbet86k188k188hr99hr99123b8xbetvnvipbetsv66zbettaisunwin-vntyphu88vn138vwinvwinvi68ee881xbetrio66zbetvn138i9betvipfi88clubcf68onbet88ee88typhu88onbetonbetkhuyenmai12bet-moblie12betmoblietaimienphi247vi68clupcf68clupvipbeti9betqh88onb123onbefsoi cầunổ hũbắn cáđá gàđá gàgame bàicasinosoi cầuxóc đĩagame bàigiải mã giấc mơbầu cuaslot gamecasinonổ hủdàn đềBắn cácasinodàn đềnổ hũtài xỉuslot gamecasinobắn cáđá gàgame bàithể thaogame bàisoi cầukqsssoi cầucờ tướngbắn cágame bàixóc đĩa开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育亚新体育亚新体育亚新体育爱游戏爱游戏爱游戏华体会华体会华体会IM体育IM体育沙巴体育沙巴体育PM体育PM体育AG尊龙AG尊龙AG尊龙AG百家乐AG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人<AG真人<皇冠体育皇冠体育PG电子PG电子万博体育万博体育KOK体育KOK体育欧宝体育江南体育江南体育江南体育半岛体育半岛体育半岛体育凯发娱乐凯发娱乐杏彩体育杏彩体育杏彩体育FB体育PM真人PM真人<米乐娱乐米乐娱乐天博体育天博体育开元棋牌开元棋牌j9九游会j9九游会开云体育AG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人爱游戏华体会华体会im体育kok体育开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育欧宝体育ob体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育开云体育开云体育棋牌棋牌沙巴体育买球平台新葡京娱乐开云体育mu88qh88

Share This Post

More To Explore

How to Craft a Severance Package for Your Business
Business

How to Craft a Severance Package for Your Business

Creating a standardized severance package ensures that departing employees are treated fairly and consistently, irrespective of their position or circumstances. Companies uphold transparency and fairness