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David A. Patterson (scientist)


David A. Patterson (scientist)

This article is about the American computer scientist. For other spellings and people of the same name, see David Patterson (disambiguation).
David Patterson
Born (1947-11-16) November 16, 1947 (age 66)
Evergreen Park, Illinois
Nationality American
Institutions University of California, Berkeley
Alma mater UCLA
Thesis Verification of Microprograms[1] (1976)
Doctoral advisor David F. Martin
Gerald Estrin
Doctoral students Garth A. Gibson
David Ungar
Known for RISC
Network of Workstations
Notable awards ACM-IEEE Eckert-Mauchly Award

David Andrew Patterson (born November 16, 1947) is an American computer pioneer and academic who has held the position of Professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley since 1977.

Patterson is noted for his pioneering contributions to RISC processor design, having coined the term RISC, and by leading the Berkeley RISC project.[2] He is also noted for his research on RAID disks.

His book on computer architecture (co-authored with John L. Hennessy) is widely used in computer science education. Patterson is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


A native of Evergreen Park, Illinois, David Patterson attended UCLA, receiving his B.A. in 1969, M.S. in 1970 and Ph.D. (advised by David F. Martin and Gerald Estrin) in 1976.

Research and academic Contributions

He is an important proponent of the concept of Reduced Instruction Set Computer and coined the term "RISC".[2] He led the Berkeley RISC project from 1980 and onwards along with Carlo H. Sequin, where the technique of register windows was introduced. He is also one of the innovators of the Redundant Arrays of Independent Disks (RAID) (in collaboration with Randy Katz and Garth Gibson), and Network of Workstations (NOW) (in collaboration with Eric Brewer and David Culler).

Past Positions

Past chair of the Computer Science Department at U.C. Berkeley and the Computing Research Association, he served on the Information Technology Advisory Committee for the U.S. President (PITAC) during 2003–05 and was elected president of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) for 2004–06.


He co-authored six books, including two with John L. Hennessy on computer architecture: Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach (5 editions—latest is ISBN 0-12-383872-X) and Computer Organization and Design: the Hardware/Software Interface (4 editions—latest is ISBN 0-12-374493-8). They have been widely used as textbooks for graduate and undergraduate courses since 1990. His most recent book is with Armando Fox on software engineering: Engineering Software as a Service: An Agile Approach Using Cloud Computing (2nd Beta Edition) (ISBN 0-98-488124-7).


His work has been recognized by about 35 awards for research, teaching, and service, including Fellow of the UCLA for Alumni Achievement in Academia. Since then he has won the ACM-SIGARCH Distinguished Service Award, ACM-SIGOPS Hall of Fame Award, and the 2012 Jean-Claude Laprie Award in Dependable Computing from IFIP Working Group 10.4 on Dependable Computing and Fault Tolerance.

In 2013 he set the American Powerlifting Record for the state of California for his weight class and age group in bench press, dead lift, squat, and all three combined lifts.


Since 2003 he has ridden in the annual Bike MS; he was the top fundraiser in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. In total, he has raised more than $200,000 for Multiple Sclerosis.

Recent Work

David Patterson's recent projects have been the AMP Lab: Algorithms, Machines, and People Laboratory.

Ph.D. Students

He has advised a number of notable Ph.D. candidates, including:



External links

  • David A. Patterson page at the website of the University of California, Berkeley
  • List of David A. Patterson's students who graduated with PhD

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