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John Hennessy

Computer Scientist, Academician, and Businessman. Former President, Stanford University

John Hennessy, The founder of MIPS Computer Systems Inc., John was the 10th President of Stanford University. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Villanova University, and his Master’s degree and Ph.D. in computer science from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Hennessy became a Stanford faculty member in 1977.…

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John Hennessy, The founder of MIPS Computer Systems Inc., John was the 10th President of Stanford University. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Villanova University, and his Master’s degree and Ph.D. in computer science from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Hennessy became a Stanford faculty member in 1977. In 1984, he used his sabbatical year to found MIPS Computer Systems Inc. to commercialize his research in RISC processors.

In 1987, he became the Willard and Inez Kerr Bell Endowed Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Hennessy served as director of Stanford’s Computer System Laboratory (1989-1993), a research center run by Stanford’s Electrical Engineering and Computer Science departments. He was chair of the Department of Computer Science (1994-1996) and Dean of the School of Engineering (1996-1999).

Hennessy and David A. Patterson have written two well-known books about computer architecture, Computer Organization and Design: the Hardware/Software Interface (2 editions; latest is ISBN 1558604286) and Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach (3 editions, latest is ISBN 1558603298). They have been widely used as textbooks for graduate and undergraduate courses since 1990.

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John Hennessy discusses some of the most powerful lessons he’s learned as leader of one of the world’s most complex and dynamic institutions of higher education

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