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Robert M Graham (UM)

posted May 5, 2016, 7:40 PM by Jeff Ogden   [ updated Dec 12, 2020, 3:49 AM ]

Bob Graham died on January 2, 2020.

Wikipedia article: Robert M. Graham

He was a significant contributor to the deign and implementation of the Multics time-sharing system and the MAD compiler; SIGPLAN chairman; CACM department editor; National ACM Lecturer; University of Massachusetts Computer Science Department chairman; and author of the textbook, Principles of Systems Programming.

In Memoriam: Professor Emeritus Robert M. Graham (1929–2020)

Published on January 22, 2020 by the College of Information and Computer Sciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Robert M. Graham, 90, emeritus professor of computer science, died Thursday, January 2, 2020.

Graham came to UMass Amherst in 1975 as chair of the computer science department, serving in that role until 1981—during which time he oversaw the development of the undergraduate major in computer science, adding to the existing master’s and doctoral programs—and then as a professor until his retirement in 1996. He continued to teach one course, COMPSCI 201, each semester until 2003. Graham’s research at UMass Amherst focused on software development environments. 

"Bob Graham greatly influenced the shape of our department, bringing important background from the early days of computing research, including writing compilers for the IBM 650 and 709 series and working as a key member of the team that developed the landmark Multics operating system at MIT,” said Eliot Moss, professor and graduate program director at CICS. “While firsthand memories of Bob will fade over time, his early guidance of the department will continue to have an enduring impact. Thank you, Bob!"

Born in Michigan in 1929, at the beginning of the Great Depression, Graham spent his early years on his grandfather’s small farm and moved to a small town at the age of six when his parents found employment. After graduating high school, he studied mathematics at the University of Michigan until he was drafted into the US Army during the Korean War. It was during his deployment to Tokyo, as a clerk with the Army Security Agency, that Graham first became interested in computers. 

Graham received both a bachelor’s and a master’s in computer science from the University of Michigan and went on to hold faculty positions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of California Berkeley, and The City College of The City University of New York before joining UMass Amherst. He helped to design or implement nearly a dozen major pieces of software, including the MAD compiler, a COBOL compiler for a minicomputer, the Multics operating system, and an operating system for the IBM 709/7090.

He served as chair of ACM SIGPLAN, a member of the Computer Science Board, and associate editor of the Communications of the ACM. He was also an ACM National Lecturer.

Visiting hours to pay respects will be available on Friday, January 31 from 5–7 pm at Douglass Funeral Service, 87 North Pleasant St, Amherst MA 01002. There are plans for a larger memorial service on campus in late spring or early summer. Details will be added as they become available.

Biographical Sketch

Professor Emeritus
 College of Information and Computer Sciences, University of Massachusetts
 Computer Science Building, 140 Governors Drive. Amherst MA 01003-9264
 Phone: 413.545.2744, Fax: 413.545.1249, Web: http://www.cics.umass.edu/~bob

I was born in Michigan at the beginning of the Great Depression (1929). My father, like so many others, was unemployed. Fortunately, we were able to live with my grandfather (my mother's father) on his farm in central Michigan. Many of these small farms were nearly self-sufficient, so we did not suffer. My earliest recollections are of life on a farm, the most vivid being the rooster that rushed at me whenever I went into the barnyard. My mother, also unemployed, taught me to read. When I was six my father got a job in a near-by town. We moved there and I entered school in the first grade, while my mother resumed teaching high school mathematics. Growing up in a small mid-western town was mostly uneventful. Later fond memories are of trips to Kincardine, Bruce County, Ontario, Canada where my father was born. His father emigrated from Scotland, as did many of the other residents of Bruce Country. We would visit Kincardine in the summer during their Highland Games. As a young boy of Scottish descent, the games were very exciting (I am still stirred by the sound of bagpipes).

After high school I studied mathematics at the University of Michigan until drafted into the US Army near the end of the Korean action. At the completion of my training I was sent to Tokyo, Japan as a clerk in the Far East headquarters of the Army Security Agency. While there I became interested in computers. After being discharged, I returned to the University of Michigan where I finished my undergraduate and graduate degrees. In my first year I took the only computer courses offered by the University, a total of two -- "Introduction to Programming" and "Numerical Analysis". With this background I obtained a graduate assistantship in the University's newly established academic computing center. During my tenure with the computing center, I co-authored two compilers (GAT for the IBM 650 and MAD for the IBM 704/709/7090), implemented a concurrent IO system for the IBM 709/7090, and wrote numerous other programs.

In 1963 I moved to MIT to participate in the development of MULTICS, their pioneering time-sharing system. This was a major project that took about seven years from the initial planning until the system was in daily use by a large community of users. I was one of the principle designers, with particular responsibility for protection, dynamic linking, and other key system kernel areas.

Following MIT, I spent two years at the University of California at Berkeley and three years at City College of New York. In 1975 I moved to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst for a five year stint as Chairman of the Computer Science Department. After that I continued as an "ordinary" faculty member in the Computer Science Department. I officially retired in 1996 but continued to teach one course each semester until the end of 2003. I now devote my time to writing another book, consulting, production of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, and my home town's conservation commission.


Copied from http://people.cs.umass.edu/~bob/pubs.html on 5 May 2016:


Principles of Systems Programming, R.M. Graham; John Wiley & Sons, 1975.


"On GAT and the Construction of Translators," B. Arden and R. Graham; Communications of the ACM, July 1959.

"The Internal Organization of the MAD translator," B.W. Arden, B.A. Galler, and R.M. Graham; invited paper, ACM Compiler Symposium, NBS, Washington DC, November 1960; published in Communications of the ACM, January 1961.

"An Algorithm for Equivalence Declarations," B.W. Arden, B.A. Galler, and R.M. Graham; Communications of the ACM, July 1961.

"MAD at Michigan," B.W. Arden, B.A. Galler, and R.M. Graham; Datamation, December 1961.

"An Algorithm for Translating Boolean Expressions," B.W. Arden, B.A. Galler, and R.M. Graham; Journal of the ACM, April 1962.

"Translator Construction," R.M . Graham; Notes of Summer Conference on Automatic Programming, University of Michigan, June 1963.

"Bounded Context Translation," R.M. Graham; Proceedings of the 1964 SJCC, Washington DC, April 1964; also published in the book: Programming Systems and Languages; S. Rosen, editor, McGraw�Hill, Inc., 1967.

"Structure of the Multics Supervisor," V.A. Vyssotsky, F.J. Corbato, and R.M. Graham; Proceedings of the FJCC, Las Vegas, November 1965.

"Protection in an Information Processing Utility," R.M. Graham; paper presented at the ACM Symposium on Operating System Principles, Gatlinburg TN., October 1967; published in the Communications of the ACM, May 1968; also published in Security and Privacy in Computer Systems; L.J. Hoffman, editor, Melville Publishing Co., 1973.

"File Management and Related Topics," R.M. Graham; Notes of Summer Conference on Advanced Topics in Systems Programming, University of Michigan, June 1969; also, Project MAC TM 12, MIT, September 1970.

"The MAD Definition Facility," B.W. Arden, B.A. Galler, and R.M. Graham; Communications of the ACM, August 1969.

"Teaching Systems Programming and Software Design: Problems and Solutions," R.M. Graham; SIGCSE Bulletin, Vol.#2, No.#3 (Proceedings of SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Academic Education in Computer Science, November 1970).

"Use of High Level Languages for Systems Programming," R.M. Graham; Project MAC Technical Memorandum 13, MIT, September 1970.

"A Software Design and Evaluation System," R.M. Graham, G.J. Clancey, Jr., and D.B. DeVaney; Proceedings of ACM SIGOPS Workshop on System Performance Evaluation; Cambridge MA, April 1971; also published in the Communications of the ACM, February 1973; also reprinted in IEEE Tutorial on Software System Design: Description and Analysis; IEEE Press, 1980.

"Performance Prediction," R.M. Graham, in "Advanced Course on Software Engineering," published by Springer�Verlag as Vol.#81 of Lecture Notes in Economics and Mathematical Systems (1973); republished by Springer�Verlag as Vol.#30 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science (1975), also as a Study Edition (1977).

"Proceeding of ACM SIGPLAN�SIGOPS Interface Meeting," R.M. Graham and M.D. Schroeder, editors; SIGPLAN Notices, Vol. 8, No. 9, September 1973.

"Performance Analysis as a Fundamental Objective in Software Engineering Education," article in Software Engineering Education: Needs and Objectives (edited by A.I. Wasserman and P. Freeman); Springer�Verlag, New York, 1976.

"Operating Systems: An Advanced Course," edited by R. Bayer, R.M. Graham, and G. Seegmuller; Vol.#60 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science; Springer�Verlag, 1978.

"Thoughts on the Design Phase of an Integrated Software Development Environment," L.A. Clarke, R.M. Graham, and J.C. Wileden; Proceedings of the Fourteenth Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Vol.1; University of Hawaii, 1981.

"Ada � The Billion Dollar Language," R.M. Graham; Abacus, Winter 1994.