Compiler Optimization Saves the Bacon

Susan Eggers

2010 ACM Athena Lecture


Throughout my entire career my research has stood solidly in computer architecture. That being said, compilers and compiler optimizations have been instrumental in enabling the architectures to perform their best. In one architecture, a multithreaded processor called Simultaneous Multlthreading, compiler optimizations took an already effective design and made it even better. In another, WaveScalar (a distributed dataflow machine), optimization enabled us to hold up our heads in public(ation). In a third example, a synthesis compiler was the enabling technology, making the architectural work possible in the first place. In this talk IÕll explain why these compiler optimizations, all of which were variations of your standard optimization repertoire, were so crucial to success.


Susan Eggers, a Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington, joined her department in 1989. She received a B.A. in 1965 from Connecticut College and a Ph.D. in 1989 from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research interests are in computer architecture and back-end compiler optimization, with an emphasis on experimental performance analysis. With her colleague Hank Levy and their students, she developed the first commercially viable multithreaded architecture, Simultaneous Multithreading, adopted by Intel (as Hyperthreading), IBM, Sun and others. Her current research is in the areas of distributed dataflow machines, FPGAs and chip multiprocessors.

In 1989 Professor Eggers was awarded an IBM Faculty Development Award, in 1990 an NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, in 1994 the Microsoft Professorship in Computer Science and Engineering, and in 2009 the ACM-W Athena Lecturer. She is a Fellow of the ACM and IEEE, a Fellow of the AAAS, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Professor Eggers' web page.

About Athena lecture:

Athena Lectures celebrate outstanding women researchers who have made fundamental research contributions to computer science. This year we are privileged to have Professor Eggers present her Athena Award lecture at PLDI 2010.

More information about the Athena Lecture.