Biography of Kemal Ebcioğlu

Activities at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center

Kemal Ebcioğlu conducted research at the IBM Research Division, IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, P.O. Box 704, Yorktown Heights, NY 10598, USA, from 1986 to 2005.

Dr. Ebcioğlu's last position at IBM was Research Staff Member and Co-Leader (with Vivek Sarkar), Programming Model and Tools Area (a group of about 40 software researchers inside IBM and in the collaborating universities), as part of IBM's HPCS (High Productivity Computer Systems)/PERCS project. HPCS/PERCS (Power 775) was a DARPA-funded research project for designing a supercomputer, which aimed to simultaneously achieve high performance, high programmer productivity, and commercial viability. Ebcioğlu was a member of the core team that designed and implemented X10, a new high-productivity language for programming supercomputers in a scalable manner. He co-authored early X10 papers, contributed to the HPCS/PERCS project programming productivity research effort (PPHEC-2004, PPHEC-2006), and interacted closely with the teams at all levels of the HPCS/PERCS hardware-software stack.

Ebcioğlu also led numerous projects at the IBM Research Division throughout his career, including the following:

DAISY (Dynamically Architected Instruction Set from Yorktown): Starting in 1996 (RC20538, ISCA-24), Ebcioğlu and the DAISY team developed original techniques to emulate a legacy architecture on a new, highly parallel architecture, with 100% compatibility (including OS code), using a dynamic binary translation approach, with aggressive just-in-time parallelizing transformations. This approach liberates a designer from having to implement a given Instruction Set Architecture verbatim, thus offering hardware simplifications and ample opportunities for innovation, including convergence among multiple architectures. A version of the DAISY software was released as an open-source project, and a related tutorial was given at the MICRO-33 conference.

VLIW: In 1986, Ebcioğlu proposed and launched a new Very Long Instruction Word (VLIW) architecture and compiler research project, which, unlike previous approaches at the time that primarily concentrated on scientific applications, focused on improving the performance of branch-intensive, non-numerical code. The first designs of the IBM Research VLIW architecture already had an essential hardware feature for aggressively parallelizing branch-intensive code: the correct handling of exceptions in the presence of speculative execution (such as a 33rd bit (exception tag bit) in registers, an interruptible (exception-raising) and an uninterruptible variant of each operation, as well as the ability to force speculatively executed memory-mapped I/O operations into no-ops, to prevent harmful side effects). Sub-projects of the IBM Research VLIW effort included:

A relevant historical perspective was published in IEEE Computer in February 2000, which mentions parallels between the HP/Intel EPIC architecture, and the independently developed IBM Research VLIW ideas.

CHORAL: This project was based on Ebcioğlu's doctoral dissertation at the State University of New York/Buffalo ('An Expert System for Harmonization of Chorales in the Style of J.S. Bach'). Although algorithmic composition of music (in particular, of non avant-garde music) is a controversial topic, Ebcioğlu proposed an approach to create a simple form of tonal music (chorale harmonizations in the style of J.S. Bach) with a computer algorithm, based on simultaneously following all three of the following principles:

The project was awarded a two-year National Science Foundation grant, numbered DCR-8316665. CHORAL featured a new logic programming language called BSL that included universal and existential quantifiers (unlike Prolog), more than 350 rules based on Bach's Chorales, and an Artificial Intelligence framework based on multiple views of the music, including Schenkerian analysis. After Ebcioğlu joined IBM, he continued working on CHORAL. IBM made a press release on the project on August 18, 1988, which resulted in worldwide press coverage. In a 1989 concert by the Westchester Choral Society, Bach's and the program's chorale harmonizations were sung back to back (mp3, 8.6MB; For each chorale, Bach's harmonization is sung first, followed by the program's version).

Dr. Ebcioğlu received 2 IBM Outstanding Technical Achievement Awards (for "CHORAL: An Expert System Application for Harmonizing Music" and for "Very Long Instruction Word Compiler Optimization Technologies," respectively). He received an IBM Divisional award for contributions to POWER-2 performance. He received an IBM Research Division Technical Group Award, for contributions to Phase I of the HPCS/PERCS project. He is a co-inventor of 14 US patents awarded to IBM. LaTTe, a Java JIT compiler and JVM project with innovations in fast register allocation, thread synchronization, exception handling, just-in-time optimizations, just-in-time instruction scheduling, and garbage collection, was realized through the collaboration of Ebcioğlu's team at IBM Research and Seoul National University. Ebcioğlu also contributed to IBM's Océano project for dynamic provisioning of servers in an e-business environment, and to numerous strategy task forces while at IBM.

Previous Work Experience

Nanodata (Intellitek) Computer Corporation, One Computer Park, Buffalo, NY 14203, USA. Last position: Senior System Designer. Ebcioğlu achieved performance improvements in customer applications by re-writing the horizontal microcode for the QMX, an IBM S/370 plug-compatible machine, and by re-writing the horizontal microcode and re-designing the hardware for three boards for the QM-1, a user microprogrammable computer with a 360-bit instruction word. Ebcioğlu also proposed, designed the hardware for, and wrote a C compiler for the QM-32, a RISC-style stack machine capable of single-cycle operation execution and zero overhead branching, subroutine call, and return.
State Opera and Ballet, Ankara, Turkey. Pianist.
Ankara State Conservatory, Turkey. Solfège Instructor.

Professional Activities

Conference Activities

Ebcioğlu also served on the program committees and steering committees of many conferences (e.g., MICRO, PACT, HPCA, PLDI, ICS, Euro-par, Computing Frontiers). He served on National Science Foundation panels, and on the National Science Foundation Committee of Visitors.


Musical Compositions

Ebcioğlu's musical compositions include:

Other Information

Kemal Ebcioğlu was born in Ankara, Turkey. He is married, and has one daughter.

Dr. Ebcioğlu's present research interests include parallel scalable cloud computing and virtualization, high productivity exascale systems, overcoming the memory wall barrier, and dynamic binary translation and optimization.


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