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Prof. Timothy Pinkston Receives the Distinguished Alumnus Award from his Alma Mater, Ohio State

April 14, 2005 —
Prof. Timothy Pinkston Receives the Distinguished Alumnus Award from his Alma Mater, Ohio State

At the 26th Annual Minority Engineering Program Awards Banquet Prof. Pinkston received a plaque that reads as follows:

The College of Engineering and the Minority Engineering Program of The Ohio State University present to Dr. Timothy M. Pinkston The Distinguished Alumnus Award

In recognition of your world renowned achievements in research, education, and professional service in the field of engineering which has significantly improved the quality of life for many and the technical landscape for our country; for inspiring, teaching and mentoring others to do the same; and for establishing a legacy which will have a positive impact on society forever.


Biographical Sketch:

Dr. Timothy Mark Pinkston completed his B.S.E.E. degree from The Ohio State University in 1985 and his M.S.E.E. and Ph.D.E.E. degrees from Stanford University in 1986 and 1993, respectively. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Southern California (USC) in 1993, he was a Member of Technical Staff at Bell Laboratories, a Hughes Doctoral Fellow at Hughes Research Laboratory, and a visiting researcher at IBM T. J. Watson Research Laboratory. Currently, he is a tenured Professor in the Electrical Engineering-Systems Department, the Director of the Computer Engineering Division, and the Chair of the Faculty of the Viterbi School of Engineering at USC.

Dr. Pinkston is a highly regarded researcher in his field. He has made fundamental research contributions on different aspects of computer system interconnection networks covering multiple levels—from solid theories on deadlock-free network routing to design and implementation of high-performance router chips. He has co-authored over 100 technical publications, with several of his works being widely cited in the literature. The SMART 1 Interconnects Research Group, headed by Dr. Pinkston, has produced publicly available and widely used interconnection network simulators, including FlexSim and IRFlexSim. He engages in close collaboration with world-renowned research scientists at such places as the Technical University of Valencia ( Spain), the Simula Resear ch Labs ( Norway), and the SLOOP resear ch group at INRIA (France). Important contributions have come from many of these collaborations.

Dr. Pinkston is, perhaps, best known in the research community for introducing a widely-used classification of deadlock recovery strategies and for discovering the new genre of progressive deadlock recovery routing s chemes, most notably Disha. This has opened new ways of approaching the problem of achieving efficient, deadlock-free network routing in multiprocessor computer systems. The Disha te chnique, and others in the progressive genre, recovers from so-called “routing deadlocks” without killing packets in the network simply by rescuing potentially deadlocked packets through a progressive recovery lane built from nominal resources at routers. Dr. Pinkston’s SMART group went on to demonstrate how progressive recovery can be extended to handle so-called “protocol deadlocks” arising from resource dependencies introduced at network end-nodes. This work is significant. To date, there exists no other technique implemented in a product or described in the literature that supports lossless adaptive routing more efficiently while requiring less network resources to handle deadlocks than the class of schemes proposed by Dr. Pinkston and his collaborators.

Dr. Pinkston has also led pioneering development of general theory, design methodology and te chniques to support deadlock-free dynamic network reconfiguration with minimal packet loss. This is a challenging problem given that deadlocks induced by reconfiguration processes (so-called “reconfiguration deadlocks”) can occur during the updating of routing tables, even if the initial and final routing algorithms are verifiably designed as deadlock-free. His work has particular relevance to networks used in highly-dependable, highly-available systems designed to tolerate and adapt to dynamic changes that may occur in the system during operation. Dr. Pinkston was also one of the first computer architects to implement router micro-architecture that integrates optoelectronic I/O into progressive recovery-based router design. The importance of his research results are recognized by other leading experts in the interconnection networks area and is featured prominently in texts on the subject, including Principles and Practices of Interconnection Networks (by Dally and Towles), Interconnection Networks An Engineering Approa ch (by Duato, Yalaman chili and Ni), and Deadlock Resolution in Computer-Integrated Systems (edited by Zhou and Fanti).

The influence and high standing Dr. Pinkston has gained in the resear ch community is reflected by the many invitations he receives to present technical talks, participate in the leadership of international meetings, and serve on review panels for resear ch funding agencies, conferences, editorial boards, and publishers of best-selling engineering textbooks. Among some of his professional service, Dr. Pinkston has served as Program Chair, Program Vice-Chair, Tutorials Chair, Workshops Chair, Finance Chair, Publicity Chair, Program Committee member and Steering Committee member of several prestigious conferences in the computer architecture and parallel processing areas, and is slated to serve as the General Co-Chair for the International Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium in 2007; he has served on the editorial board of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems, and the International Society of Optical Engineering (SPIE) Optical Networks Magazine; and he has served on proposal review panels for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Defense’s Army Research Office. He has given keynote addresses at the 4 th International Conference on Parallel and Distributed Computing, Applications, and Technologies in Chengdu, China, and at the Yugoslavian National Symposium on Computing and Information Technology in Kopaonik, Serbia- Montenegro; and he has given an invited tutorial at the 9 th International Conference on Parallel and Distributed Systems in Taiwan, Republic of China. Among some of his professional honors, Dr. Pinkston received the prestigious NSF Career Award, he is a Senior Member of the IEEE Computer Society, and he has recently been nominated as a candidate for the rank of IEEE Fellow. Among some of his graduate and undergraduate (senior year) honors, he received the National Society of Black Engineer’s (NSBE’s) Best Technical Paper Award for Region VI, the NSBE Outstanding Leadership and Service Award for Graduate Participation (at Stanford), the Hughes Aircraft Doctoral Fellow Award, the GTE Fellowship Award (at Stanford), the General Electric Fellowship Award (at Stanford), the Graduate Education for Minorities (GEM) Fellowship Award, The Ohio State University (OSU) Minority Engineering Program Outstanding Senior Award, OSU’s 1985 Homecoming Court, OSU’s Sphinx Senior Honorary, and the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honorary.

Dr. Pinkston is committed to making a difference in the lives of all prospective engineers, particularly the traditionally underrepresented. From his earlier years in high school and college as a math and engineering tutor, to his graduate school years as a teaching and research assistant, through to the present as a professor, Dr. Pinkston tries to enable individuals at all levels to aspire to, and become, high achievers. Some activities toward this end include his serving as a panel judge for the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics Competition involving high school science students (juniors and seniors); his serving as a mentor to USC undergraduate engineering students through the Merit Scholars Program, the Protégé Plus Program, and the McNair Scholars Program; his serving as a faculty panelist for the Annual California Minority Graduate Education Forum’s Workshop for Engineering; and his participating as a faculty representative in events sponsored by USC’s Black Graduate Student Network and USC’s Center for Black Cultural & Student Affairs. Through his service as faculty advisor to the USC NSBE student organization and as a member of the USC Center for Engineering Diversity’s Advisory Board, he occasionally gives informal talks of encouragement to minority student groups and addresses issues of concern through administrative and institutional channels. He further helps to promote participation among women in science and engineering fields through his service on the Advisory Board of USC’s Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) Program.