Portrait of Butler Lampson

Butler Lampson

Technical Fellow


Butler Lampson is a Technical Fellow at Microsoft Corporation and an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at MIT.  He was on the faculty at Berkeley and then at the Computer Science Laboratory at Xerox PARC and at Digital’s Systems Research Center.  He has worked on computer architecture, local area networks, raster printers, page description languages, operating systems, remote procedure call, programming languages and their semantics, programming in the large, fault-tolerant computing, transaction processing, computer security, WHSIWYG editors, and tablet computers.  He was one of the designers of the SDS 940 time-sharing system, the Alto personal distributed computing system, the Xerox 9700 laser printer, two-phase commit protocols, the Autonet LAN, the SDSI/SPKI system for network security, the Microsoft Tablet PC software, the Microsoft Palladium high-assurance stack, and several programming languages.

He received an AB from Harvard University, a PhD in EECS from the University of California at Berkeley, and honorary ScD’s from the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, Zurich and the University of Bologna.  He holds a number of patents on networks, security, raster printing, and transaction processing.  He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He received the ACM Software Systems Award in 1984 for his work on the Alto, the IEEE Computer Pioneer award in 1996, the National Computer Systems Security Award in 1998, the IEEE von Neumann Medal in 2001, the Turing Award in 1992, and the National Academy of Engineering’s Draper Prize in 2004.

At Microsoft he has worked on anti-piracy, security, fault-tolerance, and user interfaces. He was one of the designers of Palladium, and spent two years as an architect in the Tablet PC group. Currently he is in Microsoft Research, working on security, privacy, and fault-tolerance, and kibitzing in systems, networking, and other areas.