Dr. Hack studied at the École Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications in France (Ingénieur Civil, 1969) and at Project MAC at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MS 1972 and PhD 1976, on Petri Nets), before joining IBM as a Research Staff Member. He started out in the 801 group, and moved on to System Programming and Operating System research, where he participated in the development of an experimental operating system for the S/370. He has tracked the evolving S/370 architecture through a machine-level debugger for operating systems that is independent of the software, and could thus be used to debug several very different operating systems at the lowest level; by now, this has been extended to the current z/Architecture. He has worked on the low-level software structure of a large-memory fault-tolerant computer system that supports reliable applications across operating system failures. He developed correctly-rounding decimal/binary conversion algorithms for the S/390 implementation of IEEE Floating-Point support; these were improved later and encapsulated in a new Z/architecture machine instruction for conversion between all System Z floating-point formats (hex, binary and decimal). He has participated in a study of Simultaneous MultiThreading for the PowerPC architecture, and led a study of firmware performance issues for server boot-time improvements. He is currently involved in clock synchronization projects for mainframe and blade center clusters, and continues to be involved in floating-point architecture issues. He was a member of the IEEE P754 project (which led to the new IEEE 754-2008 Floating-Point standard), and is now a member of the IEEE P1788 project on Interval and Complete Arithmetic.
ACM Distinguished Engineer, Dec 2012