Franklin Laureate Database
Lynn A. Conway
Professor Emerita, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
Citation: For the method of obtaining silicon chips.
Lynn Conway received her B.S. and M.S.E.E. degrees from Columbia University in 1962 and 1963. She began her career at IBM Research at Yorktown Heights, NY, in 1964, moving on later to work at Memorex Corporation, at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), and at the Defense Advanced Research Project's Agency (DARPA). Concurrent with her work at Xerox PARC, she served as Visiting Associate Professor of EECS at M.I.T. in 1978-79. She joined the University of Michigan in 1985 as Professor of EECS and Associate Dean of the College of Engineering.
While at IBM, Ms. Conway made major contributions to supercomputer system architecture, including the invention in 1965 of generalized "dynamic instruction scheduling." Dynamic instruction scheduling has since become a classic hardware method for enhancing the performance of VLSI superscalar processors. Ms. Conway later joined the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) in 1973, where she went on to international recognition as a pioneer of computing and microelectronics for her innovations in VLSI chip design methods. In a collaboration with Prof. Carver Mead of Caltech from 1975-1980, Ms. Conway inspired and led a team of colleagues and students at Xerox PARC and Caltech in research to bridge the knowledge gap between digital system architecture and microelectronics. She co-authored Introduction to VLSI Systems, which became the seminal textbook on modern chip design. While at Xerox PARC, Ms. Conway also invented an internet-based infrastructure and protocols for efficient, rapid prototyping of large numbers of VLSI chip designs.
Ms. Conway retired from active faculty status at the University of Michigan in 1998.