ELEG 662 Spring 2011

Digital Systems Seminar

ELEG 622


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Program Execution Models: What They Are and Why They Are Important


Professor Emeritus Jack B. Dennis
Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, MIT


A program execution model (PXM) is a precise model of program behavior on a computer system. The period of the 1960s was a time of intense work on PXMs and influenced the design of computer systems, notably the Burroughs B5000 and related systems. Once the major operating systems became established, and Personal Computers made time-sharing irrelevant, work on PXMs nearly vanished, and disappeared from university curricula and conference agendas. In this informal talk, I will review the important achievements of the 1960s and discuss their relevance to today's turmoil in computer architecture.


Jack B. Dennis earned the ScD in Electrical Engineering from MIT in 1958, and has been a member of the EECS Department faculty since then, except for escapades in industry between 1984 and 2001. His career has been devoted to achieving a closer relationship between computer architecture and the structure of programs users would like to run.

Prof. Dennis is a ACM Fellow, IEEE Fellow, and A Member of National Academy of Engineering.

Copyright 2010