Research Track and Events



Software Technologies

Modern virtual machines

A long history of university research, with recent practical developments such as DISCO in 1997, and companies like VMware in 1998

A fundamental building block of cloud technology, allowing more effective provisioning of data-center services and security

Modern buffer overrun protections

Universities and industry throughout the 2000s

Operating systems starting to incorporate dynamic methods for improving security

Web 2.0

Industry, 2004

A fundamental shift in thinking in the operating system research community, as a new layer of distributed application infrastructure emerges

Multitouch appears in iPhone

Industry, 2007

New research thrusts in gesture-based user interfaces and some re-thinking of system architectures


Industry, 2010

Originally designed as a game controller, then adopted by researchers as a new core sensor for many applications


Content distribution networks

Early foundations developed in universities, contributing algorithms, systems concepts, and people to companies such as Akamai, 1998

A fundamental part of how the Internet works, essential to provision of services such as YouTube, news sites, and many others

Multiprotocol label switching

Early developments in companies such as Ipsilon Networks, circa 1996

Had a fundamental influence on subsequent university research in networking

GigaScope and others

Industry and university research, in particular AT&T Labs around 2003

Stream-based measurement and traffic analysis on large networks (and the Internet)—a fundamental tool for today’s research


Stanford University, 2008

Issued as a standard in 2011

Parallel and Distributed Systems


Fundamental ideas date back to the 1960s, but made practical at scale by Google in 2004

Changed the research thinking in distributed computing; a foundation for many cloud systems


Open-source development, around 2006

Had immediate influence on university research, including not only distributed systems but also areas such as machine learning and databases; increasingly the base for commercial offerings

Message passing interface

A university and industry standards development, around 1994

The standard mechanism for programming high-performance computers

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement