Artifact Details


Hennessy, John L. oral history

Catalog Number





Dr. John Hennessy of Stanford University in an interview with John Mashey describes how his academic career began, his role in helping initiate some of the major advances in computer science, and his rise through academia to become President of Stanford University. Hennessy began his scientific work writing a thesis in real time programming and after joining Stanford University in 1977 became involved in advanced computing design. That lead to Hennessy's interest in VLSI which led to developing MIPS technology. While running the Stanford Computer Systems Lab, Hennessy took a leave of absence to co-found MIPS, Inc.. When MIPS was acquired by Silicon Graphics, Hennessy returned to Stanford and became head of the Stanford Computer Science Department in 1994. Hennessy also partnered with David Patterson to write the classic textbook: 'A Quantitative Approach: Computer Architecture'. Rising to greater positions of responsibility, Hennessy became Stanford's Dean of Engineering in 1996 and then Provost succeeding Condoleezza Rice in 1999. In 2000, John Hennessy was named President of Stanford University.




Hennessy, John, Interviewee
Mashey, John, Interviewer
Sanguedolce, Bob, Editor


Computer History Museum

Place of Publication

Mountain View, CA, USA


28 p.




Hennessy, John; Villanova University; State University of New York, Stony Brook; Computer science; Baskett, Forest; Patterson, David; real-time programming; Stanford University; Knuth, Donald; Clark, Jim; VLSI; silicon compiler; DEC VAX; Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC); MIPS; RISC; CISC; DARPA; UNIX; C (Computer program language); Stanford CSL (Computer Systems Lab); Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI); Parallel processing (Electronic computers); "A Quantitative Approach: Computer Architecture"; Rice, Condoleezza; Bio-X; semiconductor history

Collection Title

CHM Oral history collection

Lot Number


Related Records

102658132 Hennessy (John) oral history