Mark Dean (computer scientist)

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Mark Dean
Born (1957-03-02) March 2, 1957 (age 67)[1]
Alma mater
OccupationComputer engineer
SpouseDenise Dean
Parent(s)James Dean, Barbara Dean

Mark E. Dean (born March 2, 1957)[1] is an American inventor and computer engineer. He developed the ISA bus, and he led a design team for making a one-gigahertz computer processor chip.[2] He holds three of nine PC patents for being the co-creator of the IBM personal computer released in 1981.[3] In 1995, Dean was named the first ever African-American IBM Fellow.[4]

Dean was elected as a member into the National Academy of Engineering in 2001 for innovative and pioneering contributions to personal computer development.

In 2000, Mark discussed a hand held device that would be able to display media content, like a digital newspaper.[5][6] In August 2011, Dean stated that he uses a tablet computer instead of a PC in his blog.[7][8]

Early life[edit]

Dean was born in Jefferson City, Tennessee. Dean displayed an affinity for technology and invention at a young age.[9] His father, James, worked bob electrical equipment for turbines and spillways. James would often bring Mark with him on work trips, introducing him to engineering.[10] When Mark was young, he and his dad constructed a tractor from scratch.[11] In middle school, Mark had made up his mind on becoming a computer engineer.[10] Dean attended Jefferson City High School in Tennessee, where he excelled in both academics and athletics.[9][12] While in high school, during the 1970s, Mark built his own personal computer.[5]


Dean is the first[13] African-American to become an IBM Fellow, which is the highest level of technical excellence at the company. In 1997, he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.[12][14] He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2001.[15] In 1997, Dean was awarded the Black Engineer of the Year Presidents Award.[16] From August 2018 to July 2019, Dean was the interim dean of the UT's Tickle College of Engineering.[17][18]

As of April 26, 2019, April 25 is now officially Mark Dean Day in Knox County, Tennessee.[19]


Mark graduated with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering during 1979.[20] Soon after, Mark got a job at IBM as an engineer.[5][20] His first task at the company was to create a word processor adapter for IBM's Datamaster terminal.[5] During this time, he also created the ISA bus that allowed additional components to be connected to a PC. His work got him promoted in 1982 to chief engineer of PC design, where he worked with a team to develop the IBM PC.[5] In the same year, Mark earned his master's degree in electrical engineering.[20] 17 years later, in 1999, Dean and his team developed a gigahertz microchip, the first in the world.

Dean was an IBM Vice President overseeing the company's Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California.[15] At one point, Mark was CTO for IBM Middle East and Africa.[21] He retired from the company in 2013 and became a professor at University of Tennessee.[20] Mark Dean is the John Fisher Distinguished Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Tennessee.[20][22]

Dean now holds more than 20 patents,[16][23] and his work led to development of the color PC monitor.[24]


Name of Patent Patent Number Date of Patent
Color video display system having programmable border color 4437092 March 13, 1984
Composite video color signal generation from digital color signals 4442428 April 10, 1984
Microcomputer system with bus control means for peripheral processing devices 4528626 July 9, 1985
Refresh generator system for a dynamic memory 4575826 March 11, 1986
Data processing system including a main processor and a co-processor and co-processor error handling logic 4598356 July 1, 1986
Computer system including a page mode memory with decreased access time and method of operation thereof 5034917 July 23, 1991
Method and apparatus for selectively posting write cycles using the 82385 cache controller 5045998 September 3, 1991
Bidirectional buffer with latch and parity capability 5107507 April 21, 1992
Control of pipelined operation in a microcomputer system employing dynamic bus sizing with 80386 processor and 82385 cache controller 5125084 June 23, 1992
System bus preempt for 80386 when running in an 80386/82385 microcomputer system with arbitration 5129090 July 7, 1992
Microprocessor hold and lock circuitry 5170481 December 8, 1992
Delayed cache write enable circuit for a dual bus microcomputer system with an 80386 and 82385 5175826 December 29, 1992
Data processing apparatus for selectively posting write cycles using the 82385 cache controller 5327545 July 5, 1994
Connecting a short word length non-volatile memory to a long word length address/data multiplexed bus 5448521 September 5, 1995
Microcomputer system employing address offset mechanism to increase the supported cache memory capacity 5450559 September 12, 1995
System and method for prefetching information in a processing system 5544342 August 6, 1996
Non-contiguous mapping of I/O addresses to use page protection of a process 5548746 August 20, 1996
Self-time processor with dynamic clock generator having plurality of tracking elements for outputting sequencing signals to functional units 5553276 September 3, 1996
Method and system for reading from a m-byte memory utilizing a processor having a n-byte data bus 5603041 February 11, 1997
Method and system in a distributed shared-memory data processing system for determining utilization of nodes by each executed thread 6266745 July 24, 2001
Method and system in a distributed shared-memory data processing system for determining utilization of shared-memory included within nodes by a designated application 6336170 January 1, 2002
Data storage device for recording to magnetic thread 7206163 April 17, 2007
Method and apparatus for constructing a neuroscience-inspired artificial neural network with visualization of neural pathways 9753959 September 5, 2017
Method and apparatus for constructing, using and reusing components and structures of an artificial neural network 10019470 July 10, 2018
Method and apparatus for providing random selection and long-term potentiation and depression in an artificial network 10055434 August 21, 2018
Method and apparatus for constructing a dynamic adaptive neural network array (DANNA) 10095718 October 9, 2018
Method and apparatus for providing real-time monitoring of an artificial neural network 10248675 April 2, 2019


  1. ^ a b "Mark Dean - Biography, Computer Scientist, Engineer". 13 January 2021.
  2. ^ McCoy, Frank (1999-12-26). "He refined the desktop PC". U.S. News & World Report. Archived from the original on 2012-10-20. Retrieved 2011-08-12. A year later, Dean led a team that built a 1,000-megahertz chip [...]
  3. ^ Maulsby, Richard (1997-10-15). "Four American Inventors to Receive Ronald H. Brown American Innovator Awards" (Press release). United States Patent and Trademark Office. Retrieved 2013-07-11. Dean, just 40, holds more than 25 patents, including three of IBM's original nine PC patents.
  4. ^ "IBM Fellows - United States". 2017-04-13. Retrieved 2021-02-21.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Mark Dean Saw—and Built—the Future – The Elective". Retrieved 2023-03-30.
  6. ^ "'The tablet is my device of choice': Why PC creator Mark Dean has largely abandoned his electronic child". PCWorld. Retrieved 2023-03-30.
  7. ^ Angel, Jonathan (2011-08-10). "Thirty years later, the personal computer's obsolete, IBM PC designer says". Archived from the original on 2012-09-04. Retrieved 2011-08-12.
  8. ^ Dean, Mark (2011-08-12). "IBM Leads the Way in the Post-PC Era". Smarter Planet. Archived from the original on 2011-08-13. I recently traded in my PC for a tablet computer [...]
  9. ^ a b "Mark Dean: Early Life and Education". Retrieved 2017-02-18.
  10. ^ a b "Mark Dean: The Groundbreaking Inventor and Computer Engineer". Unique Coloring. Retrieved 2023-03-30.
  11. ^ "Mark Dean". 13 January 2021.
  12. ^ a b "High-tech's Invisible Man'". US Black Engineer & IT. 25 (5). Career Communications Group: 14. February 2002. ISSN 1088-3444.
  13. ^ Carter Sluby, Patricia (2009). The inventive spirit of African Americans: patented ingenuity (illustrated ed.). Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 177. ISBN 978-0-275-96674-4.
  14. ^ "Mark Dean". National Inventors Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 2017-02-02. Retrieved 2017-02-21.
  15. ^ a b "Mark Dean - Computer Scientist of the African Diaspora". Department of Mathematics, University of Buffalo. Retrieved 2017-02-21.
  16. ^ a b "Mark Dean: Innovation with IBM". 13 January 2021.
  17. ^ "Parker Taking New Role at Office of Science and Technology Policy". The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. 2018-08-15. Retrieved 2018-08-17.
  18. ^ "Thank you, Mark Dean". July 2019.
  19. ^ "Knox County Proclaims April 25 'Dr. Mark Dean Day'". University of Tennessee. 26 April 2019. Retrieved 2019-08-27.
  20. ^ a b c d e "Mark E. Dean". Our Tennessee. 23 January 2017. Retrieved 2023-03-30.
  21. ^ Evans, Bob (2011-08-11). "Personal Computers Becoming Obsolete, Says IBM PC Architect". Forbes. Retrieved 2011-08-12. One of IBM's primary designers for its iconic PC says he's chucked the PC in favor of a tablet [..] Now CTO for IBM Middle East and Africa, Dean [...]
  22. ^ "Personal Computer Inventor to Join College of Engineering Faculty". Tennessee Today. The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. 2013-08-07. Retrieved 2013-10-12.
  23. ^ "Dr. Mark Dean: Computer Inventions". Archived from the original on 2010-07-29. Retrieved 2017-02-21.
  24. ^ "Dr. Mark Dean and the Personal Computer - News - SparkFun Electronics". Sparkfun. 2023-02-21. Archived from the original on 2023-02-21. Retrieved 2023-02-21.
  25. ^ "Mark E. Dean Inventions, Patents and Patent Applications - Justia Patents Search". Retrieved 2023-03-30.

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