David A. Patterson was the first in his family to graduate from college (1969 A.B UCLA), and he enjoyed it so much that he didn’t stop until a PhD (1976 UCLA). He joined U.C. Berkeley in 1977. He and colleagues soon developed the Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC). In 1987, Patterson and colleagues tried building dependable storage systems from the new PC disks, which led to Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks (RAID). Both RISC and RAID were the foundations of billion dollar industries. Patterson and colleagues later tried building a supercomputer using standard desktop computers and switches. The resulting Network of Workstations (NOW) project led to cluster technology used by many Internet services. He is currently Director of both the Reliable Adaptive Distributed Systems Lab and the Parallel Computing Lab. In the past, he served as Chair of Berkeley’s Computer Science Division, Chair of the Computing Research Association, and President of the Association for Computing Machinery, which is the largest IT professional society.
All this resulted in 200 papers, 5 books, and about 30 of honors, some shared with friends, including election to the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences, and the Silicon Valley Engineering Hall of Fame. He was named Fellow of the Computer History Museum and both AAAS organizations. From the University of California he won the Outstanding Alumnus Award (UCLA Computer Science Department) and the Distinguished Teaching Award (Berkeley). From the ACM, where as a fellow, he received the SIGARCH Eckert Mauchly Award, the SIGMOD Test of Time Award, the Distinguished Service Award, and the Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award. He is also a fellow at the IEEE, where he received the Johnson Information Storage Award, the Undergraduate Teaching Award, and the Mulligan Education Medal. Finally, he shared the IEEE von Neumann Medal and the NEC C&C Prize with John Hennessy, President of Stanford University and co-author of two his books.