Profesor John L Hennessy joined Stanford’s faculty in 1977 and rose to full professorship in 1986.
From 1983 to 1993, John was director of the Computer Systems Laboratory for research in computer systems design. He was chair of computer science from 1994 to 1996 and then became dean of the School of Engineering. As dean, he launched a five-year plan that laid the groundwork for new activities in bioengineering and biomedical engineering. In 1999, he became provost, and in 2000, became Stanford’s 10th president.
A pioneer in computer architecture, in 1981 John drew together researchers to focus on a computer architecture known as RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer). In 1984, he co-founded MIPS Computer Systems, now MIPS Technologies, which designs microprocessors. In recent years, his research has focused on the architecture of high-performance computers.
John is a recipient of numerous awards including a 2004 NEC C&C Prize for lifetime achievement in computer science and engineering, and the 2012 IEEE Medal of Honor. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Association for Computing Machinery, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.