Distinguished Service Award Recognizes David Patterson for Initiatives that Advanced Computing Profession

Distinguished Service Award Recognizes David Patterson for Initiatives that Advanced Computing Profession

Former ACM President Made Computing Better Understood and Respected Worldwide

The Association for Computing Machinery
Advancing Computing as a Science & Profession


Contact: Virginia Gold
[email protected]


NEW YORK, March 18, 2008 – David A. Patterson, who led initiatives that have brought more respect and understanding to the computing profession, has been given the 2007 Distinguished Service Award by ACM (the Association for Computing Machinery). His leadership in the computing field extends from his tenure on several federal policy boards to his multiple awards for teaching excellence. Patterson, who was president of ACM from 2004-2006, is professor of computer science at the University of California at Berkeley. He is the founding director of the Parallel Computing Laboratory (PAR Lab) on the Berkeley campus, which addresses the multicore challenge to software and hardware. He also founded the Reliable, Adaptive and Distributed Systems Laboratory (RAD Lab), which focuses on the design of more dependable computing systems.


Patterson worked to advance the computing discipline through his membership on the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC) under President George W. Bush, and his role on the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Membership Committee. At the NAE, he highlighted the contributions of outstanding computing researchers, thereby helping to increase the number of computer scientists elected annually.

He is a member of both the NAE and the National Academy of Sciences, and has been named a Lifetime National Associate of the National Academies of Engineering and Sciences. He also served on the National Research Council’s Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, and chaired the Computing Research Association (CRA) Board of Directors, and the ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Architecture (SIGARCH).

As ACM President, Patterson created several major initiatives to advance computing as a science and a profession. They included advocating more research funding for computing and information technology; a study of the impact of globalization and offshoring on software; and improving the quality of computer science education. Patterson also launched plans to attract more innovative papers to ACM conferences; raise awareness of ACM programs and awards; and expand communications to ACM members.

An inspirational educator, Patterson received several teaching honors, including the 1982 Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of California; the 1991 Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award from ACM; and the 1998 Diane S. McEntyre Award for Excellence in Teaching from UC Berkeley. In 1996, he received the Undergraduate Teaching Award from IEEE, and in 2000, IEEE honored him with the James H. Mulligan, Jr. Education Medal.

Patterson holds the Pardee Chair of Computer Science at the University of California Berkeley, where he chaired the Computer Science Division of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Department, with 500 students and 50 faculty and staff. A Fellow of ACM, the IEEE Computer Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Patterson was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Silicon Valley Engineering Hall of Fame in 2006, and was named a Fellow of the Computer History Museum in 2007.

Patterson received A.B., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California at Los Angeles. His research and teaching interests include computer architecture, parallel computing, and reliable, adaptive computing systems. He is co-author of five books on computer architecture, including two with John Hennessy, President of Stanford University, which have served a broad audience of computer scientists over several generations.

ACM will present the 2007 Distinguished Service Award at its annual Awards Banquet on June 21, 2008, in San Francisco. The Distinguished Service Award honors an individual on the basis of value and degree of service to the computing community, including activities in other computing organizations.

About ACM


ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery http://www.acm.org, is an educational and scientific society uniting the world’s computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges. ACM strengthens the profession’s collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.