ACM Names Bluespec Founder Arvind 2006 ACM Fellow

ACM Names Bluespec Founder Arvind 2006 ACM Fellow:

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) has named Arvind, founder of Bluespec(TM) Inc., developer of the only electronic system level (ESL) synthesis for control logic and complex datapaths in chip design, a 2006 ACM Fellow.

Arvind, who is the Johnson professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), received this award for his contributions to dataflow computing and verification. The ACM Fellows Program celebrates exceptional contributions of leading members in the computing field who have helped to enlighten researchers, developers, practitioners and end-users of information technology throughout the world.

My wife took a class at UCI from Arvind. That's his whole name: Arvind. I think I saw him in the hall once or twice before he took off from UCI for MIT.

I did spend some time with two guys who wrote a dataflow compiler for Arvind. One guy was named James and the other was Curtis. The dataflow compiler was written in Simula, a fairly slow language to begin with, and took seven passes to compile the Dataflow language (I think that's what it was called) into a simulated instruction set that modeled a dataflow computer. It took hours to compile and run a small program. But apparently it worked and simulated a dataflow compiler and computer (in Simula). (Modern computers do a bit of dataflow work as they work out argument dependencies in order to simultaneously execute more than one instruction.)

One time James and Curtis set off the alarm in the lab where we worked. This lab alarm had the worst user interface of any alarm button every known to man. It was a button on the wall near the door. For years, everyone resisted pushing this button. Finally James or Curtis pushed the button. The alarm went off and I arrived just as they were slipping out the door. The UCI fire department had to go to the top of the engineering building, which was about eleven floors, and check each floor from the top down for trouble. Then they had to go through the underground tunnel to our building until they found a flashing light over the room that had set off the alarm. For some incredible reason they couldn't look at an annunciator panel and see where the alarm had been set off.

Some very tired (but strong!) firemen finally arrived at our lab. I told them they alarm had been tripped by accident and we had no idea how to turn it off or who to call. One of the firemen gave the alarm a twist and it turned off. A twist! WHAT? So, to summarize: alarm with no documentation, alarm system that provided very little information to the firefighters, and two guys who couldn't resist pushing the button. John Locke (from Lost) would have been proud. Luckily there was no C4 wired to the alarm.