Maurice Herlihy

Award Recipient
Share this on:

Maurice Herlihy has an A.B. in Mathematics from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from M.I.T. He served on the faculty of Carnegie Mellon University, on the staff of DEC Cambridge Research Lab, and is currently Professor in the Computer Science Department at Brown University. He received the 2003 Dijkstra Prize in Distributed Computing, the 2004 Goedel Prize in Theoretical Computer Science, and the 2012 Dijkstra Prize in Distributed Computing. He is an ACM Fellow and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

His research focuses on practical and theoretical aspects of concurrent and distributed computing. His early work on wait-free synchronization showed that different synchronization operations have different computational power, but that any operation that can solve consensus is universal. With Jeannette Wing, he invented the notion of linearizability, a popular correctness condition for concurrent data structures. With James Aspnes and Nir Shavit, he developed counting networks, a class of highly-concurrent, low-contention data structures for counting and related tasks. With Nir Shavit, he developed new ways to reason about distributed algorithms, based on combinatorial and algebraic topology, yielding new lower bounds to previously unsolved problems. With Eliot Moss, he invented transactional memory, a multiprocessor synchronization architecture that has been incorporated into recent processors by Intel and IBM.


2013 W. Wallace McDowell Award 
“For fundamental contributions to the theory and practice of multi-processor computation.”
Learn more about the W. Wallace McDowell Award