David F. Bacon  David F. Bacon photo       

contact information

Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY USA


Professional Associations

Professional Associations:  ACM  |  ACM SIGPLAN  |  IBM Academy of Technology

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David F. Bacon is a Research Staff Member at IBM's T.J. Watson Research Center. He led the Metronome project which pioneered hard real-time garbage collection, opening the use of high-level languages like Java for time-critical systems in financial trading, aerospace, defense, video gaming, and telecommunications.

His current work focuses on the creation of a language and associated compiler technology to allow fluid programming of software and reconfigurable hardware, to "JIT the hardware" -- a project called Liquid Metal.

Dr. Bacon's algorithms are included in most compilers and run-time systems for modern object-oriented languages, and he holds 11 patents in these areas. His work on Thin Locks was selected as one of the most influential contributions in the 20 years of the Programming Language Design and Implementation (PLDI) conference. He received his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley and his A.B. from Columbia University. During 2009 he was a Visiting Professor at the Harvard University Computer Science Department. He is a member of the IBM Academy of Technology, has served on the governing boards of ACM SIGPLAN and SIGBED, and is an ACM Fellow.

External Awards

IBM Awards

  • CASCON Conference First Decade High Impact Paper Award for A Compiler Framework for Restructuring Data Declarations to Enhance Cache and TLB Effectiveness.
  • Inducted into the IBM Academy of Technology, October 2007.
  • Gerstner Award for Client Excellence, AT+T Integrated Account Team (for role of real-time garbage collection in $750M contract), 2007.
  • Corporate Award for Real-time Garbage Collection, 2006.
  • Technical Group Award for TuningFork visualization system, 2006.
  • Technical Group Award for Expedited Real-time Threads, 2006.
  • Research Division Accomplishment for Real-time Garbage Collection and IBM's entry into the Real-time Market, including a $150M contract from Raytheon IDS, 2005.
  • Outstanding Innovation Award for Real-time and Embedded Garbage Collection (Metronome), 2005.
  • Fifth Invention Plateau Award, 2005.
  • Fourth Invention Plateau Award, 2004.
  • Third Invention Plateau Award, 2004.
  • Technical Group Award for the High Productivity Computing System (DARPA PERCS Supercomputer), 2004.
  • Second Invention Plateau Award, 2002.
  • Technical Group Award for the Jikes Research Virtual Machine, 2002.
  • First Invention Plateau Award, 1999.
  • Research Division Award for High Performance Monitors for Java, 1998.
  • Resident Study Fellowship, University of California, Berkeley, 1990-1994.
  • Research Division Award for Public Domain Software, 1988.