Stanford EE Computer Systems Colloquium

4:15PM, Wednesday, May 7, 2014
HP Auditorium, Gates Computer Science Building Room B1

Big Data -- Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

John Mashey
Note the change of speaker and topic

The speaker originally scheduled for this EE380 lecture, Dan Milstein, had to cancel at the last minute due to a family emergency. John Mashey agreed to step in and give the Colloqium talk at the very last minute. Dan Milstein's talk will be rescheduled at a later date.

About the talk:

In early 2013, NY Times writer Steve Lohr wrote The Origins of ‘Big Data': An Etymological Detective Story.* He had discovered that the speaker had likely originated the modern use of the phrase starting in the early 1990s at Silicon Graphics (SGI) That occasioned a search through stacks of old slides and presentations to reassemble some history from viewpoints of computer architecture, technology trends and applications, many of which were not traditional ones for SGI, but were commercial data mining applications.

The key ideas were that Big Data involved requirements beyond commodity memory capacity or I/O performance, and perhaps complex data, and Big Data was always a moving target. Applications that were once Big Data are now miniscule.

The talk starts with Hollerith machines in the 1890s, proceeds through history into the 1990s, when the speaker got involved and created many slides on the topic, including the talk Big Data and The Next Wave of Infrastress**

Finally, the talk offers some insights for the current popularity of the term, the technology enablers, and thoughts about near-term future and challenges.



** See Origin section.

***  Given often, including at Stanford in 1998,


There is no downloadable version of the slides for this talk available at this time.

About the speaker:

[photo-johnmashey] Mashey holds a Ph.D. in computer science from Pennsylvania State University, where he developed the ASSIST assembler language teaching software. He worked on the PWB/UNIX operating system at Bell Labs from 1973 to 1983, authoring the PWB shell, also known as the "Mashey Shell". He then moved to Silicon Valley to join Convergent Technologies, ending as director of software. He joined MIPS Computer Systems in early 1985, managing operating systems development, and helping design the MIPS RISC architecture, as well as specific CPUs, systems and software. He continued similar work at Silicon Graphics (1992--2000), most recently contributing to the design of the NUMAflex modular computer architecture, ending as VP and chief scientist.[3]

Mashey was one of the founders of the SPEC benchmarking group, was an ACM National Lecturer for four years, has been guest editor for IEEE Micro, and one of the long-time organizers of the Hot Chips conferences. He has been credited for being the first to spread the term and concept of Big Data in the 1990s.

(From, which has more. See also

Contact information:

John R. Mashey, PhD