Roy Levin is a Distinguished Engineer and Managing Director of Microsoft Research, Silicon Valley, which he co-founded in August, 2001. The lab presently numbers approximately 50 researchers working in the area of distributed computing and operates in a highly collaborative style that embraces the technical spectrum from theory to practice.
From 1996 until he joined Microsoft, Levin was Director of the Digital/Compaq Systems Research Center in Palo Alto, California. Previously, he was a senior researcher in the Center since its founding in 1984. During those years he was a primary contributor and project leader for the Vesta software configuration management system and for the Topaz multi-processor programming environment and its micro-kernel operating system. Before joining Digital, Levin was a researcher at Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center, where he was a principal developer and project co-leader of Cedar, an experimental programming environment for high-performance workstations. He was also a developer of Grapevine, a landmark electronic mail system.
Levin received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1977 and his B.S. in Mathematics from Yale University. He is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and a former chair of Special Interest Group on Operating Systems (SIGOPS). He is author or co-author of approximately 25 technical papers, books, and patents.
Publications and patents
- Roy Levin. A Perspective on Computing Research Management. ACM Operating Systems Review 41(2), April 2007, pp. 3-7.
- Allan Heydon, Roy Levin, Tim Mann, and Yuan Yu. Software Configuration Management Using Vesta. Monographs in Computer Science, Springer, 2006.
- Roy Levin. A Technology Transfer Retrospective. In Computer Systems: Theory, Technology, and Applications, Andrew Herbert and Karen Spärck-Jones (eds.), Springer-Verlag, 2004.
- Allan Heydon, Roy Levin, Tim Mann, and Yuan Yu. The Vesta Software Configuration Management System. Research Report 177, Compaq Systems Research Center, Palo Alto, CA, January 2002.
- C. Allan Heydon, Roy Levin, Butler W. Lampson. Method and apparatus for caching the results of function applications with dynamic, fine-grained dependencies. U.S. Patent #6,145,056, November 7, 2000.
- Allan Heydon, Roy Levin, Tim Mann, and Yuan Yu. The Vesta approach to software configuration management. Research Report 168, Compaq Systems Research Center, Palo Alto, CA, March 2001.
- Allan Heydon, Roy Levin, and Yuan Yu. Caching function calls using precise dependencies. In Proceedings of the ACM SIGPLAN '00 Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation (PLDI), June 2000.
- Martín Abadi, James J. Horning, Butler W. Lampson, Roy Levin, Jean-Jacques Lévy, Yuan Yu. Dynamic Fine-Grained Dependency Analysis for a Functional Language. U.S. Patent #5,940,619, August 17, 1999.
- Christine B. Hanna and Roy Levin. Efficient method and apparatus for compiling and linking modules of computer code in a large software system. U.S. Patent #5,748,961, May 5, 1998.
- Roy Levin and Christine B. Hanna. Language Scoping for Modular, Flexible, Concise, Configuration Descriptions. U.S. Patent #5,500,881, March 19, 1996.
- Allan Heydon, Roy Levin, Tim Mann, and Yuan Yu. The Vesta approach to software configuration management. Technical Note 1999-001, Compaq Systems Research Center, Palo Alto, CA, June 1999.
- Allan Heydon, Jim Horning, Roy Levin, Tim Mann, and Yuan Yu. The Vesta-2 Software Description Language. Technical Note 1997-005c, Digital Systems Research Center, Palo Alto, CA, June 1998.
- Chris Hanna and Roy Levin. The Vesta language for configuration management. Research Report 107, Compaq Systems Research Center, Palo Alto, CA, June 1993.
- Sheng-Yang Chiu and Roy Levin. The Vesta repository: A file system extension for software development. Research Report 106, Compaq Systems Research Center, Palo Alto, CA, June 1993.
- Roy Levin and Paul McJones. The Vesta approach to precise configuration of large software systems. Research Report 105, Compaq Systems Research Center, Palo Alto, CA, June 1993.
- Andrew Birrell, John V. Guttag, Jim Horning, and Roy Levin. Synchronization primitives for a multiprocessor: A formal specification. Operating Systems Review, 21(5), November 1987. Also appeared as SRC Research Report 20. Revised version in "Systems Programming with Modula-3", Prentice Hall, 1991.
- Paul Rovner, Roy Levin, and John Wick. On extending Modula-2 for building large, integrated systems. Research Report 3, Compaq Systems Research Center, Palo Alto, CA, January 1985.
- Roy Levin and Dave Redell. An Evaluation of the Ninth SOSP Submissions, or, How (and How Not) to Write a Good Systems Paper. ACM SIGOPS Operating Systems Review, 17(3):35-40, July 1983. (HTML), (Copyright ACM 1983).
- Andrew Birrell, Roy Levin, Roger Needham, and Michael Schroeder. Grapevine: An Exercise in Distributed Computing, Communications of the ACM 25, 4, April 1982. ACM SIGOPS 2008 Hall of Fame Award winner.
- William Wulf, Roy Levin, and Samuel Harbison. Hydra/C.mmp: An Experimental Computer System. McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, 1981.
- Roy Levin and Michael Schroeder. Transport of Electronic Mail through a Network, Proceedings of the IFIP Teleinformatics '79 Conference, Paris, July 1979.
- Roy Levin. Program Structures for Exceptional Condition Handling. Available from University Microfilms, Inc., Ann Arbor, June 1977.
- William Wulf, Roy Levin, and Charles Pierson. An Overview of the Hydra Operating System Development, Proceedings of the Fifth Symposium on Operating Systems Principles, November 1975.
- Roy Levin, Ellis Cohen, William Corwin, Frederick Pollack, and William Wulf. Policy/Mechanism Separation in Hydra, Proceedings of the Fifth Symposium on Operating Systems Principles, November 1975.
- William Wulf and Roy Levin. A Local Network, Datamation, February 1975.