Alfred Spector

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Alfred Zalmon Spector is an American computer scientist and research manager.

Spector received his Bachelor of Arts degree in applied Mathematics from Harvard University. He received his PhD in computer science from Stanford University in 1981, where his research included measurements of remote procedure call operations on experimental Ethernet.[1] His dissertation was titled Multiprocessing Architectures for Local Computer Networks, and advisor was Forest Baskett III.[2]

Spector was an associate professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). While there, he served as doctoral advisor to Randy Pausch, Jeff Eppinger and Joshua Bloch and seven others.[3] Spector was a founder of Transarc Corporation in 1989 which built and sold distributed transaction processing and wide area file systems software, commercializing the Andrew File System developed at CMU. After Transarc was acquired by IBM, he became a researcher and software executive there, including the position of vice president of strategy and technology within IBM's Software Group.[4] He remained an advisor to CMU.[5]

In 2001, Spector received the IEEE Computer Society's Tsutomu Kanai Award for his contributions to distributed computing systems and applications.[6] He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2004. He was inducted as a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery in 2006 and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009. He also served on the Markle Task Force on National Security in the Information Age that focused on how to use information and information technology to improve national security while protecting traditional civil liberties.

Spector joined Google as vice president of research in November 2007 and retired in early 2015.[7] He now serves as the CTO of Two Sigma Investments. [8]


  1. ^ Alfred Z. Spector (April 1982). "Performing remote operations efficiently on a local computer network". Communications of the ACM. 25 (4): 246–260. doi:10.1145/358468.358478. 
  2. ^ Alfred Zalmon Spector (1981). Multiprocessing Architectures for Local Computer Networks. PhD dissertation.  Published as Stanford Technical Report STAN-CS-81-874
  3. ^ "Alfred Zalmon Spector". PhD Tree. 
  4. ^ "Alfred Z. Spector". Corporate biography page. IBM Research. Retrieved September 11, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Dr. Alfred Z. Spector". School of Computer Science Advisory Board. Carnegie Mellon University. Retrieved September 11, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Distributed Systems: Lessons Learned & Challenges Remaining" (PDF). Kanai Award Lecture. April 9, 2003. Retrieved September 11, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Alfred Z. Spector". Research at Google. 
  8. ^ "Two Sigma Appoints Alfred Spector as Chief Technology Officer". 

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