CS Honoree to Appear at Computer History Museum

LOS ALAMITOS, Calif., 3 February, 2010 – Lynn Conway, winner of the 2009 IEEE Computer Society Pioneer Award, will discuss her experience with the IBM ACS system during an 18 February panel at the Computer History Museum.

Conway, University of Michigan professor emerita, will join Brian Randell, Newcastle University senior research investigator and emeritus professor, in discussing “IBM ACS System: A Pioneering Supercomputer Project of the 1960s.” The presentation, moderated by IBM Fellow Fran Allen, will begin at noon at the museum, located at 1401 N. Shoreline Boulevard in Mountain View, California. Click here for more information.

IBM’s S/360 Model 91 and CDC 6600 represented high-performance computing milestones in the 1960s. Lesser known was the Advanced Computing Systems project that IBM Chairman T. J. Watson Jr. launched to supercede the 6800. Rather than being set up on the East Coast, the usual sites for mainframe development, the project was located in Califjornia to be close to the Livermore National Laboratories and the advanced work on disk drives at IBM’s San Jose facility.

ACS built upon earlier IBM work on Stretch and Stretch-Harvest influenced by the legendary John Cocke, and on IBM’s follow-on “Project Y” at the T. J. Watson Research Center. The ACS architecture incorporated innovations that remain important today, including multiple out-of-order dynamic instruction scheduling, multiple condition codes, a decoupled branch architecture, and instruction pre-fetching.

Conway joined IBM after earning her B.S. and M.S.E.E. degrees from Columbia University. At IBM, she made foundational contributions to superscalar computer architecture in the mid-1960s, including the innovation of multiple-issue dynamic instruction scheduling (DIS). At Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, Conway innovated scalable MOS design rules and highly simplified methods for silicon chip design, co-authoring the famous “Mead-Conway” text and pioneering the new form of university course that taught these methods – thereby launching a worldwide revolution in Very Large System Integration design in the late-1970s.

Conway is an IEEE Fellow, and was the recipient of the University of Pennsylvania’s Pender Award, the Franklin Institute’s Wetherill Medal, Secretary of Defense Meritorious Achievement Award, and the Society of Women Engineers National Achievement Award. She was elected to the Electronic Design Hall of Fame and National Academy of Engineering.

About the Computer Society

With nearly 85,000 members, the IEEE Computer Society is the world’s leading organization of computing professionals. Founded in 1946, and the largest of the 39 societies of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Computer Society is dedicated to advancing the theory and application of computer and information-processing technology. The Society serves the information and career-development needs of today’s computing researchers and practitioners with technical journals, magazines, conferences, books, conference publications, and online courses.

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