Thomas M. McWilliams & 

Lawrence Curtis Widdoes

1984 W. Wallace McDowell Joint Award Recipients
______________________________________________

 

 

“For creating the structured computer-aided logic (SCALD) design methodology, which is the basis for many of the successful computer-aided engineering
systems used in the industry”

 


D
r. Thomas M. McWilliams, Vice President of Valid Logic Systems, Inc. of Mountain View California, since September, 1983, was born on June 17, 1952 in Kansas City, Missouri.  He obtained both his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1975.  Upon being offered a Fannie and John Hertz Graduate Fellowship, he proceeded to standard University, where he earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science in 1980.  His dissertation entitled, “Verification of Timing Constraints in Large Digital Systems,” won him the Fannie and John Hertz award for the best Ph.D. thesis that year.

Dr. McWilliams had the opportunity to work on simulation programs at Digital Equipment Corporation as an undergraduate.  While doing his graduate work, he was a Co-Principal Investigator at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory on the S-1 project which he founded in collaboration with Dr. L. Curtis Widdoes, Jr.  This involved the design of very advanced computer systems and the tools necessary to develop such systems.  It is here that the structured computer-aided logic design systems (SCALD) and its automatic physical design subsystem evolved.  These were then used to design the S-1 Mark IIA, a uniprocessor said to attain to performance level of a Cray 1.

He helped Widdoes found Valid Logic Systems in 1981 and served as a consultant to that company, while at the same time continuing as Technical Director of the S-1 Project until 1983.  He then assumed his current assignment at Valid on a full-time basis so that he could devote his energies to the advancement of SCALD, and the increase of simulation speeds through both hardware and software acceleration techniques.

McWilliams was elected to Eta Kappa Nu and Tau Beta Pi, honorary engineering societies, and belongs both to the Association of Computing Machinery and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.  Earlier in his career, he was a recipient of a Bausch and Lomb Science and Math award, and also an Everard M. Williams  Scholarship award.

 

 

 

Lawrence Curtis Widdoes, Jr. was born in St. Louis, Missouri on January 19, 1952.  He received his B.S. in Engineering and Applied Science from the California Institute of Technology in June, 1973 and his Ph.D. in Computer Science in December, 1980 from Stanford University, where he won the 1981 Fannie and John Hertz award for the best Ph.D. thesis.  While working on his Ph.D. at Stanford, he also held a Fannie and John Hertz Foundation fellowship.  Among his other academic honors at Caltech were the Joseph MacPherson Prize in Engineering, in 1973, the Jack E. Froelich Memorial Award and the Honeywell Award in 1972, and a Sloan scholarship, 1969-1973.

As an undergraduate, Dr. Widdoes worked on pre-launch ground-support software at the Space Radiation Laboratory, and on the REL Language System, in the REL Project at the California Institute of Technology.  Later at Stanford, before he collaborated with Dr. McWilliams on the S-1 Project, he worked at the Digital Systems Laboratory on the Minerva Project, a multi-microprocessor research computer, which he designed and implemented.

In November of 1975, he and McWilliams founded the S-1 Project at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and between October, 1978 and July, 1980, they shared the technical directorship of that project.  Between 1978 and 1980 Widdoes also services as Assistant Professor in Residence in the Computer Science Department at the University of California at Berkeley where he taught courses in advanced computer design and conducted and supervised research in that area.  Then, in order to devote himself fully to the SCALD project, he resigned both positions and took over full responsibility for the S-1 SCALD group.  In March, 1981, Dr. Widdoes left the S-1 Project and founded Valid Logic Systems, Inc. becoming Vice President of Engineering.

Since March, 1983 Widdoes serves as Vice President and Chief Scientist of his company, where he is concentrating his efforts in the area of advanced simulation techniques for very complex VLSI customer chips.  He has fled four patent applications on this most recent work.