Department of Computer Science

Thursday, September 23, 2004
B17 Upson Hall

Roy Levin
Microsoft Research

A Perspective on Systems Research

What is systems research?  Although I've been involved with it all of my career (which by some metrics is in its fourth decade), I can't define it, but as Justice Potter Stewart wrote in a different context, I know it when I see it.  In this talk, I reflect on some of the aspects that (I suspect) are unique in systems research, drawing on the projects in which I was involved at CMU, Xerox, DEC, and Microsoft.  Along the way, I'll consider how those projects were shaped by the organizations in which they were carried out (Conway's Law, of sorts) and compare systems research today with systems research in the golden days of the past and future.