John Hennessy photo 001.jpg

John L. Hennessy


Director, Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program


Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science 


Stanford University



Contact Information

Littlefield Center

365 Lasuen St, 2nd Floor

Stanford, CA 94305

Telephone: 650-724-1343



Assistant: Celeste Browne (


Research Interests

Computer Architecture and Compiler Technology


Brief Biography

Professor Hennessy initiated the MIPS project at Stanford in 1981, MIPS is a high- performance Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC), built in VLSI. MIPS was one of the first three experimental RISC architectures. In addition to his role in the basic research, Hennessy played a key role in transferring this technology to industry. During a sabbatical leave from Stanford in 1984-85, he cofounded MIPS Computer Systems (later MIPS Technologies Inc. and now part of Imagination Technologies), which specializes in the production of chips based on these concepts. He also led the Stanford DASH (Distributed Architecture for Shared Memory) multiprocessor project. DASH was the first scalable shared memory multiprocessor with hardware-supported cache coherence. More recently, he has been involved in FLASH (FLexible Architecture for Shared Memory), which is designed to support different communication and coherency approaches in large-scale shared-memory multiprocessors. In the 1990s, he served as the Founding Chairman of the Board of Atheros, an early wireless chipset company, now part of Qualcomm.  Hennessy is also the coauthor of two widely used textbooks in computer architecture.


In addition to his work as a Professor at Stanford, he has served as Chair of the Department of Computer Science (1994-96), Dean of the School of Engineering (1996-99), Provost (1999-2000), and President (2000-2016). He is currently the Director of the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program, which each year will select 100 new graduate scholars from around the world to receive a full scholarship (with stipend) to pursue a wide-ranging graduate education at Stanford, with the goal of developing a new generation of global leaders.



Professional Curriculum Vitae, Publications, and Talks 


President Emeritus Website with biography, speeches, etc.

Last Changed 5/8/2014