John L. Hennessy-President of Stanford University.

John L. Hennessy

John LeRoy Hennessy (born 1953) is an American computer scientist and academician. Hennessy is one of the founders of MIPS Computer Systems Inc. and is the 10th President of Stanford University.


John L. Hennessy joined Stanford's faculty in 1977 as an assistant professor of electrical engineering. He rose through the academic ranks to full professorship in 1986 and is the inaugural Willard R. and Inez Kerr Bell Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science 1987-2004.

From 1983 to 1993, Dr. Hennessy is director of the Computer Systems Laboratory, research and teaching center operated by the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science is to encourage research in the design of computer systems. He served as chair of computer science 1994-1996 and in 1996, was named dean of the School of Engineering. As dean, he launched a five-year plan that lays the foundation for new activities in biotechnology and biomedical engineering. In 1999, he was appointed president, chief financial officer and academic universities. As chancellor, he continued his efforts to encourage interdisciplinary activities in the biosciences and biotechnology and oversee the improvement of faculty and staff compensation. On October 2000, he was sworn in as the 10th president of Stanford University. In 2005, he became the inaugural holder of the Bing Presidential Professor.

A pioneer in computer architecture, in 1981 Dr. Hennessy attract researchers to focus on computer architecture known as RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer), a technology that has revolutionized the computer industry by increasing performance while reducing cost. In addition to its role in basic research, Dr. Hennessy helped transfer this technology to industry. In 1984, he cofounded MIPS Computer Systems, now MIPS Technologies, which designs microprocessors. In recent years, research has focused on high-performance computer architecture.

Dr. Hennessy is a recipient of 2000 IEEE John von Neumann Medal, the 2000 ASEE Benjamin Garver Lamme Award, the 2001 ACM Eckert-Mauchly Award, the 2001 Seymour Cray Computer Engineering Award, the 2004 NEC C & C Prize for lifetime achievement in computer science and engineering and the 2005 Founders Award from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Sciences, and he is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Association for Computing Machinery and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

He has lectured and published widely and is co-author of two textbooks of international undergraduate and postgraduate courses that are used in computer architecture design. Dr. Hennessy earned his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Villanova University and a master's and doctoral degrees in computer science from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Hennessy served as director of the Stanford Computer Systems Laboratory (1989-1993), a research center run by the Stanford Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department. He is chairman of the Department of Computer Science (1994-1996) and Dean of the School of Engineering (1996-1999).

In 1999, Stanford President Gerhard Casper Hennessy was appointed to succeed Condoleezza Rice as Provost of Stanford University. When Casper resigned to focus on teaching in 2000, Hennessy named Stanford Board of Trustees to succeed Casper as president. In 2008, Hennessy earned a salary of $ 1,091,589 ($ 702.771 base salary, benefits, deferred $ 259,592, $ 129,226 non-tax benefits), the highest among all 23 American university presidents.

In 1997, he was inducted as a member of the Association for Computing Machinery, ACM.
Hennessy is a board member of Google, Cisco Systems, Atheros Communications, and the Daniel Pearl Foundation.
On October 14, 2010, Hennessy served khata with the 14th Dalai Lama before His Majesty addressed Maples Pavilion.

In December 2010, Hennessy coauthored an editorial by Drew Gilpin Faust of Harvard University President urges passage of DREAM Act; legislation did not pass the 111th United States Congress.

In 2012, Hennessy was awarded the IEEE Medal of Honor. IEEE Hennessy highest recognition given them "to pioneer the RISC processor architecture and for leadership in computer engineering and higher education.

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