David Patterson
David Andrew Patterson

(1947-11-16) November 16, 1947 (age 76)
CitizenshipUnited States
EducationSouth High School
Alma materUniversity of California, Los Angeles (BA, MS, PhD)
Known forReduced instruction set computer
Network of Workstations
Scientific career
FieldsComputer systems[4]
InstitutionsUniversity of California, Berkeley
ThesisVerification of Microprograms (1976)
Doctoral advisorDavid F. Martin
Gerald Estrin
Doctoral students
Websitewww2.eecs.berkeley.edu/Faculty/Homepages/patterson.html Edit this at Wikidata

David Andrew Patterson (born November 16, 1947) is an American computer pioneer and academic who has held the position of professor of computer science at the University of California, Berkeley since 1976. He announced retirement in 2016 after serving nearly forty years, becoming a distinguished software engineer at Google.[5][6] He currently is vice chair of the board of directors of the RISC-V Foundation,[7] and the Pardee Professor of Computer Science, Emeritus at UC Berkeley.[8]

Patterson is noted for his pioneering contributions to reduced instruction set computer (RISC) design, having coined the term RISC, and by leading the Berkeley RISC project.[9] As of 2018, 99% of all new chips use a RISC architecture.[10][11] He is also noted for leading the research on redundant arrays of inexpensive disks (RAID) storage, with Randy Katz.[12]

His books on computer architecture, co-authored with John L. Hennessy, are widely used in computer science education. Hennessy and Patterson won the 2017 Turing Award for their work in developing RISC.

Early life and education

David Patterson grew up in Evergreen Park, Illinois. He graduated from South High School in Torrance, California. He then attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics in 1969. He continued on to obtain his Master of Science degree in 1970 and PhD in 1976, both in Computer Science at UCLA. Patterson's PhD was advised by David F. Martin and Gerald Estrin.[13][14][15][16]

Research and career

Patterson is an important advocate and developer of the concept of reduced instruction set computing and coined the term "RISC".[9] He led the Berkeley RISC project from 1980, with Carlo H. Sequin, where the technique of register windows was introduced. He is also one of the innovators of the redundant arrays of independent disks (RAID) together with Randy Katz and Garth Gibson.[12][17] Patterson also led the Network of Workstations (NOW) project at Berkeley, an early effort in the area of computer clustering.[18]

Past positions

Past chair of the Computer Science Division at U.C. Berkeley and the Computing Research Association, he served on the Information Technology Advisory Committee for the U.S. President (PITAC) during 2003–05 and was elected president of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) for 2004–06.[19]

Notable PhD students

He has advised several notable Ph.D. students,[13][20] including:

Selected publications

Patterson co-authored seven books, including two with John L. Hennessy on computer architecture: Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach (6 editions—latest is ISBN 978-0128119051) and Computer Organization and Design RISC-V Edition: the Hardware/Software Interface (5 editions—latest is ISBN 978-0128122761). They have been widely used as textbooks for graduate and undergraduate courses since 1990.[21] His most recent book is with Andrew Waterman on the open architecture RISC-V: The RISC-V Reader: An Open Architecture Atlas (1st Edition) (ISBN 978-0999249109).

His articles include:

Awards and honors

Patterson's work has been recognized by about 40 awards for research, teaching, and service, including Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)[22] and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and by election to the National Academy of Engineering, National Academy of Sciences, and the Silicon Valley Engineering Hall of Fame. In 2005, he and Hennessy shared Japan's Computer & Communication award and, in 2006, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences and received the Distinguished Service Award from the Computing Research Association. [19] In 2007 he was named a Fellow of the Computer History Museum "for fundamental contributions to engineering education, advances in computer architecture, and the integration of leading-edge research with education."[23] That same year, he was also named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2008, he won the ACM Distinguished Service Award, the ACM-IEEE Eckert-Mauchly Award, and was recognized by the School of Engineering at UCLA for Alumni Achievement in Academia. Since then he has won the ACM-SIGARCH Distinguished Service Award, ACM-SIGOPS Hall of Fame Award, and the 2012 Jean-Claude Laprie Award in Dependable Computing from IFIP Working Group 10.4 on Dependable Computing and Fault Tolerance. In 2016 he was given the Richard A. Tapia Achievement Award for Scientific Scholarship, Civic Science and Diversifying Computing.[24] For 2020 he was awarded the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Information and Communication Technologies.[25]

In 2013, he set the American Powerlifting Record for the state of California for his weight class and age group in bench press, dead lift, squat, and all three combined lifts.[26]

On February 12, 2015, IEEE installed a plaque at UC Berkeley to commemorate the contribution of RISC-I[27] in Soda Hall at UC Berkeley. The plaque reads:

On March 21, 2018, he was awarded the 2017 ACM A.M. Turing Award together with John L. Hennessy for developing RISC.[10] The award attributed them for pioneering "a systematic, quantitative approach to the design and evaluation of computer architectures with enduring impact on the microprocessor industry".[11]

In 2022 he was awarded the Charles Stark Draper Prize by the National Academy of Engineering alongside John L. Hennessy, Steve Furber and Sophie Wilson for contributions to the invention, development, and implementation of reduced instruction set computer (RISC) chips.[28][29]

Charitable work

From 2003 to 2012 he rode in the annual Waves to Wine MS charity event as part of Bike MS; a 2-day cycling adventure. He was the top fundraiser in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.[30]


  1. ^ "Charles P. "Chuck" Thacker is the recipient of the 2017 Eckert-Mauchly Award". awards.acm.org.
  2. ^ "David A. Patterson, Google, Inc". nasonline.org.
  3. ^ Karl Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award (1991)
  4. ^ David Patterson publications indexed by Google Scholar Edit this at Wikidata
  5. ^ "People of ACM - David Patterson". acm.org.
  6. ^ "Dave Patterson – Google Research".
  7. ^ "Board of Directors". riscv.org. RISC-V Foundation. Archived from the original on 2017-08-03. Retrieved 2017-08-03.
  8. ^ Who's Who in America 2008. Marquis Who's Who. New Providence, New Jersey. 2007. ISBN 978-0-8379-7010-3.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  9. ^ a b Reilly, Edwin D. (2003). Milestones in computer science and information technology. Greenwood Publishing. p. 50. ISBN 1-57356-521-0.
  10. ^ a b "Computer Chip Visionaries Win Turing Award". The New York Times. 2018-03-21.
  11. ^ a b "John Hennessy and David Patterson will receive the 2017 ACM A.M. Turing Award". acm.org. Retrieved 2018-03-21.
  12. ^ a b "David Patterson: Biography". Computer History Museum. 2007.
  13. ^ a b David Patterson at the Mathematics Genealogy Project Edit this at Wikidata
  14. ^ "David Patterson - A.M. Turing Award Laureate". acm.org.
  15. ^ Patterson, David Andrew (1976). Verification of Microprograms. acm.org (PhD thesis). UCLA. OCLC 897786365. ProQuest 302812848.
  16. ^ Patterson, D. A., "Verification of Microprograms," Technical Report No. UCLA-ENG-7707, UCLA Computer Science Department, January 1977.
  17. ^ Linda Null; Julia Lobur (14 February 2014). The Essentials of Computer Organization and Architecture. Jones & Bartlett Learning. p. 512. ISBN 978-1-284-15077-3.
  18. ^ Hennessy, John L.; Patterson, David A. (3 November 2006). Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach. Elsevier. p. xxiii. ISBN 978-0-08-047502-8.
  19. ^ a b "CRA Service Awards 2006". archive.cra.org.
  20. ^ "David Patterson's PhD Students".
  21. ^ "John Hennessy and David Patterson win the Frontiers of Knowledge Award in ICT". EurekAlert!. Retrieved 2024-02-15.
  22. ^ "Recipients". Archived from the original on 2016-12-01. Retrieved 2015-06-10.
  23. ^ "Computer History Museum | Fellow Awards - David Patterson". Archived from the original on 2013-02-06. Retrieved 2013-02-16.
  24. ^ "Richard A. Tapia Achievement Award - Tapia Conference". tapiaconference.org. 11 November 2022.
  25. ^ BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards 2020
  26. ^ "American Powerlifting Records for California".
  27. ^ "IEEE SCV Silicon Valley Technology History Committee". sites.ieee.org.
  28. ^ "Recipients of the Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering". nae.edu.
  29. ^ "Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering". nae.edu.
  30. ^ "Berkeley's Anti-MS Crew". anti-ms-crew.berkeley.edu.