Dartmouth Events

If You Didn't Test It, Then It Doesn't Work

Dr. Robert Colwell, DARPA, Director, Microsystems Technology Office will discuss impacts and origins of design errors and validation mistakes and what is the best way forward.

Monday, January 27, 2014
Rm. 200, Cummings Hall
Intended Audience(s): Public
Categories: Lectures & Seminars

Engineers fundamentally believe that it's possible to "get it right," to create something new that accomplishes its mission and never disappoints. Validators know that, if it is possible, it is exceedingly unlikely, because they've never seen it. Validators learn that if humans are involved, then human error is present. (And sometimes tool errors, manufacturing errors, user errors, and validation errors, possibly all at the same time.) Design engineers would do well to consider the validation attitude while creating their designs.  In this talk, Dr. Robert Colwell will discuss the impacts and origins of design errors and validation mistakes, and talk about the best way forward.


Dr. Robert (Bob) Colwell joined the Microsystems Technology office in April 2011 as the Deputy Director. His interests include architectural and hardware engineering, CPU's, chipsets, buses, memories, and electronics.

Before joining DARPA, Dr. Colwell worked as a consultant, specializing in general computing HW/SW, for industry and academia.  From 1990 to 2001, Dr. Colwell worked for Intel Corporation and served as Chief Architect (IA32) responsible for all of Intel's Pentium CPU architecture efforts. He also initiated and led Intel's Pentium 4 CPU development. In 1997, Dr. Colwell was named an Intel Fellow, the highest technical grade at the company.

As a member of the staff at Bell Labs from 1977 to 1990, Dr. Colwell worked on the BellMac series of microprocessors.

Dr. Colwell has been a recipient of the Eckert-Mauchly Award for "outstanding achievements in the design and implementation of industry-changing micro-architectures, and for significant contributions to the RISC/CISC architecture debate. In addition, Dr. Colwell was elected to IEEE Fellow and the National Academy of Engineering for "contributions to turning novel computer architecture concepts into viable, cutting-edge commercial processors."

From 2006 to 2009, Dr. Colwell was selected as a member of Information Systems Advanced Technology (ISAT) and co-chaired Machine Learning on Multicore in 2009. Having written more than two dozen publications and one book, Dr. Colwell has been invited to speak by the Department of Defense, Google, and multiple universities. He is the inventor/co-inventor on 40 patents and is the recipient of the Carnegie-Mellon Distinguished Alumni Fellows Award and an Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Colwell received a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, and both his Master of Science in electrical engineering and Doctor of Philosophy from Carnegie-Mellon University.      

For more information, contact:
Louise Cullen

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.