Peter J. Denning

Peter J. Denning

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Peter J. Denning

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Peter J. Denning (born 1942) is an American computer scientist, and prolific writer. He is best known for pioneering work in virtual memory, especially for inventing the working-set model for program behavior, which defeated thrashing in operating systems and became the reference standard for all memory management policies. He is also known for his works on principles of operating systems, operational analysis of queueing network systems, design and implementation of CSNET, ACM digital library, codifying the great principles of computing, and most recently for his groundbreaking book The Innovator's Way", on innovation as learnable practices.


Denning was born January 6, 1942, in Queens, NY, and raised in Darien, CT. He took an early interest in science, pursuing astronomy, botany, radio, and electronics while in grade school. At Fairfield Prep, he submitted home designed computers to the science fair in 1958, 1959, and 1960. The second computer, which solved linear equations using pinball machine parts, won the grand prize. He attended Manhattan College for a Bachelor in EE (1964) and then MIT for a PhD (1968). At MIT he was part of Project MAC and contributed to the design of Multics. His PhD thesis, "Resource allocation in multiprocess computer systems",...
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