Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Arvind, RIP

Adam Zewe (via Hacker News):

A prolific researcher who led the Computation Structures Group in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), Arvind served on the MIT faculty for nearly five decades.


As a scientist, Arvind was well known for important contributions to dataflow computing, which seeks to optimize the flow of data to take advantage of parallelism, achieving faster and more efficient computation.

In the last 25 years, his research interests broadened to include developing techniques and tools for formal modeling, high-level synthesis, and formal verification of complex digital devices like microprocessors and hardware accelerators, as well as memory models and cache coherence protocols for parallel computing architectures and programming languages.


In 2000, Arvind took two years off from teaching at MIT to build Sandburst, Inc, a fabless manufacturing semiconductor company. He served as its president until his return to MIT in 2002. In 2006, Sandburst was acquired by Broadcom Corporation.

In 2003, he cofounded Bluespec, Inc., headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts. They produce proven electronic design automation (EDA) synthesis toolsets. With Lennart Augustsson, Arvind codeveloped the programming language Bluespec SystemVerilog (BSV), a high-level functional programming hardware description language, which is a Haskell variant extended to handle chip design and electronic design automation in general.

I really enjoyed his graduate Computer System Architecture class. He was so excited about the material and clear in communicating it, both verbally and notationally using term-rewriting systems.

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