Computer Sciences Dept.

Mark D. Hill

John P. Morgridge Professor
Gene M. Amdahl Professor of CS

2016 Photo of Mark D. Hill
Research Interests: Computer architecture, parallel computing, memory systems, and performance evaluation.

Whatever may be the limitations which trammel inquiry elsewhere, we believe that the great state University of Wisconsin should ever encourage that continual and fearless sifting and winnowing by which alone the truth can be found.

--Report of the Board of Regents in 1849.

Teaching Interests: Computer engineering (CS/ECE 252), computer organization (354 and 552), computer architecture (752), parallel computer architecture (757), and topic courses (758 and 838).

Ph.D.: (Computer Science) University of California - Berkeley, 1987.

Short Biography: Mark D. Hill ( is John P. Morgridge Professor and Gene M. Amdahl Professor of Computer Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he also has a courtesy appointment in Electrical and Computer Engineering. His research interests include parallel-computer system design, memory system design, and computer simulation. He co-leads the Wisconsin Multifacet ( project with David Wood. He is a fellow of IEEE and the ACM. He serves as Chair of the Computer Community Consortium (2018-19) and served as Wisconsin Computer Sciences Department Chair 2014-2017. Hill has a PhD in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley.

Longer Biography: Mark D. Hill ( is John P. Morgridge Professor, and Gene M. Amdahl Professor of Computer Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has long had a UW-Madison Electrical and Computer Engineering courtesy appointment. He serves as Chair of the Computer Community Consortium (CCC)(2018-20) and served as Vice Chair (2016-18). He is a member of the Computing Research Association Board of Directors (2018-20). He served as Wisconsin Computer Sciences Department Chair July 2014 to June 2017.

Dr. Hill's research targets computer design and evaluation. He has made contributions to parallel computer system design (e.g., memory consistency models and cache coherence), memory system design (caches and translation buffers), computer simulation (parallel systems and memory systems), software (e.g., page tables and cache-conscious optimizations), deterministic replay and transactional memory. For example, he is the inventor of the widely-used 3C model of cache behavior (compulsory, capacity, and conflict misses) and co-inventor of the cornerstone for the C++ and Java multi-threaded memory specifications (sequential consistency for data-race-free programs).

Hill has selected as a John P. Morgridge Endowed Chair of UW-Madison Computer Sciences in 2015. He was named an ACM Fellow (2004) for contributions to memory consistency models and memory system design, elevated to a Fellow of the IEEE (2000) for contributions to cache memory design and analysis, and was awarded the ACM SIGARCH Alan Berenbaum Distinguished Service Award in 2009. He was won four important University of Wisconsin-Madison awards: WARF Named Professorship in 2013 (2nd winner from CS), Kellett in 2010 (3rd winner from CS), Vilas Associate in 2006, and Romnes Fellow in 1997. He co-wrote A Primer on Memory Consistency and Cache Coherence in 2011 (downloaded 7000 times), co-edited Readings in Computer Architecture in 2000, is co-inventor of 40 United States patents (several of which have been co-issued in the European Union & Japan), was an ACM SIGARCH Director (1993-2007), won an NSF Presidential Young Investigator award in 1989, and member of informal ISCA and MICRO Halls of Fame. He is co-author of eight papers selected by IEEE Micro Top Picks, co-won the best paper award in VLDB 2001, and has an H-index of 77 with over 26,000 citations. He has held visiting positions at Google (2018), Advanced Micro Devices (2011), University of Washington (2011), Columbia University (2010), Universidad Politecnica de Catalunya (2002-03) and Sun Microsystems (1995-96). Dr. Hill earned a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California - Berkeley in 1987, an M.S. in Computer Science from Berkeley in 1983, and a B.S.E. in Computer Engineering from the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor in 1981.

Curriculum Vitae, Publicity Photo, Academic Ancestors (1000 years!) and Posterity

US National Science Foundation (NSF) News Story including video going back to Hill's childhood, 2014.

Timeline of 40 Years of Computer Architecture at UW-Madison (8MB).

Amdahl's Law in UW-Madison Alumni Park; photo by Jeff Miller
Mark D. Hill is Gene M. Amdahl Professor of Computer Sciences due to a 2013 WARF Named Professorship, named with the late Gene M. Amdahl's blessing.

"S = 1/((1-P) + (P/N))" -- the formula for Amdahl's law of parallel computing -- is one of many graphics and informational displays featured at Alumni Park at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Aug. 26, 2017. Gene Amdahl MS'49, PhD'52 was a UW graduate who helped advance the world's knowledge of how to harness multiple computers to speed their work. (Photo by Jeff Miller / UW-Madison) Click Here for 3.7MB image.

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