School of Computing Seminar

Fridays 2:30-3:30 pm
McAdams 114

October 11, 2019

Dick Sites
University of North Carolina

BENCHMARKING "Hello, World!"


As software moves off the desktop and into data centers, and cell phones use server requests as the other half of apps, the observation tools for large-scale distributed transaction systems are not keeping up with the complexity of the environment. Exploring a simpler environment can help expose some of the problems that confront today’s tool users and tool builders. There is a lot to be learned from careful observation of a program and its complete surrounding context, even one as trivial as “Hello, World!”.


Dr. Richard L. Sites wrote his first computer program in 1959 and has spent most of his career at the boundary between hardware and software, with a particular interest in CPU/software performance. He was head of a VAX microcode team at Digital Equipment Corporation, and then with Rich Witek, co-architect of the DEC Alpha processors. With others, he invented the performance counters found in nearly all processors today; he helped design and has heavily used the Google Dapper RPC tracing tool; he built the first version of kernel-user tracing at Google. He has done low-overhead microcode and software tracing at DEC, Adobe, Google, and more recently consulting at Tesla. He studied at MIT, University of North Carolina, and Stanford University. He holds 66 patents and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. Currently, he is a Visiting Professor at UNC.




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