Charles E. Leiserson

Charles E. Leiserson is a professor of computer science and engineering in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. His research centers on the theory of parallel computing, especially as it relates to engineering reality. He co-authored the first paper on systolic architectures. He invented the re-timing method of digital-circuit optimization and developed the algorithmic theory behind it. On leave from MIT at Thinking Machines Corporation, he designed and led the implementation of the network architecture for the Connection Machine Model CM-5 Supercomputer. This machine was the world’s most powerful supercomputer in the early 1990’s and it incorporated the“universal” fat-tree interconnection network he developed at MIT. Fat-trees are now the preferred interconnect strategy for Infiniband technology. He introduced the notion of cache-oblivious algorithms, which exploit the memory hierarchy near optimally while containing no tuning parameters for cache size or cache-line length. He developed the Cilk multi-threaded programming language and runtime system, which featured the first provably efficient work-stealing scheduler. He led the development of several Cilk-based parallel chess-playing programs, including Socrates and Cilkchess, which won numerous prizes in international competition. On leave from MIT as Director of System Architecture at Akamai Technologies, he led the engineering team that developed a worldwide content-distribution network with tens of thousands of Internet servers. He founded Cilk Arts, Inc., which developed the Cilk++ multi-core concurrency platform. Intel Corporation acquired Cilk Arts in 2009, and Cilk technology is available in many compilers today.