John Mashey

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John Mashey (born 1946) is a US computer scientist, director and entrepreneur.


Mashey holds a Ph.D. in computer science from Pennsylvania State University, where he developed the ASSIST assembler language teaching software.[1] He worked on the PWB/UNIX operating system at Bell Labs from 1973 to 1983, authoring the PWB shell, also known as the "Mashey Shell".[2] He then moved to Silicon Valley to join Convergent Technologies, ending as director of software.[3] He joined MIPS Computer Systems in early 1985, managing operating systems development, and helping design the MIPS RISC architecture, as well as specific CPUs, systems and software.[3] He continued similar work at Silicon Graphics (1992–2000), most recently contributing to the design of the NUMAflex modular computer architecture, ending as VP and chief scientist.[3]

Mashey was one of the founders of the SPEC benchmarking group, was an ACM National Lecturer for four years, has been guest editor for IEEE Micro, and one of the long-time organizers of the Hot Chips conferences.[citation needed] Additionally, he has chaired technical conferences on operating systems and CPU chips, and has given more than 500 public talks on software engineering, RISC design, performance benchmarking and supercomputing.[citation needed] He has been credited for being the first to spread the term and concept of Big Data in the 1990s.[4][5] He is now a consultant for venture capitalists and high-tech companies and a trustee of the Computer History Museum.[3] In 2012, he received the USENIX Lifetime Achievement Award ("Flame Award") "for his contributions to the UNIX community since its early days".[6]

He has written articles for the Skeptical Inquirer[7] regarding climate change denial. In 2010 he published a 250-page critical report on the Wegman Report.[8] Mashey's report concluded that the Wegman Report contained plagiarized text. This story was featured in USA Today,[9] and he was interviewed in Science magazine, which stated that he was "spending his retirement years compiling voluminous critiques of what he calls the 'real conspiracy' to produce 'climate antiscience'."[10] His research has investigated the secretive funding of climate contrarian thinktanks.[11] Mashey blogs at DeSmogBlog, which focuses on global warming.[12]

Mashey became a scientific and technical consultant for the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry in 2015.[13]

Mashey is married to Angela Hey, a Cambridge University and Waterloo University graduate, with a Ph.D. from Imperial College, London.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Mashey, J.R. (February 1973). "ASSIST: Three year's experience with a student-oriented assembler". ACM SIGCSE Bulletin - Proceedings of the 3rd SIGCSE symposium on Computer science education. 5 (1): 157–165. doi:10.1145/800010.808101. 
  2. ^ Dolotta, T.A.; Haight, R.C.; Mashey, J.R. (July–August 1978). "The Programmer's Workbench" (PDF). Bell System Technical Journal. 57 (6 Part 2): 2177–2200. doi:10.1002/j.1538-7305.1978.tb02148.x. 
  3. ^ a b c d John Mashey, trustee, accessed 3-6-2012.
  4. ^ Fan, Wei; Bifet, Albert (December 2012). "Mining big data: current status, and forecast to the future". ACM SIGKDD Explorations Newsletter. 14 (2): 1–5. doi:10.1145/2481244.2481246. 
  5. ^ Lohr, Steve (2013-02-01). "The Origins of 'Big Data': An Etymological Detective Story". New York Times. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ John R. Mashey (2011). "Strange Problems in the Wegman Report". Skeptical Inquirer. 
  8. ^ John R. Mashey (2010). "Strange Scholarship in the Wegman Report: A Façade for the Climate Anti-Science PR Campaign" (PDF). Deep Climate (blog). 
  9. ^ Dan Vergano (2010-11-23). "Experts claim 2006 climate report plagiarized". USA Today. 
  10. ^ Kintisch E (10 June 2011). "Newsmaker Interview: John Mashey: Computer Scientist Goes on Offensive to Defend Climate Scientists". Science. 332 (6035): 1250–1. doi:10.1126/science.332.6035.1250.  (article paywalled)
  11. ^ Suzanne Goldenberg (14 February 2013). "Secret funding helped build vast network of climate denial thinktanks". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 February 2013. 
  12. ^ Mashey, John. "John Mashey's blog". DeSmogBlog. Retrieved April 14, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Ten Distinguished Scientists and Scholars Named Fellows of Committee for Skeptical Inquiry - CSI". Retrieved 2015-10-15. 

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