Community Learning Space

Faculty of Math, University of Waterloo

presents ...

The 2004 J.W. Graham Medal Seminar

The Evolution of Software Efficiency: 
From Saving Bytes to Saving You an Hour a Day


David Yach

Recipient of the 2004
J.W. Graham Medal in Computing & Innovation

Friday, June 18, 2004
1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Davis Centre, Room 1302
University of Waterloo

Presentation archive


A generation ago, low powered microcomputers were in their infancy, and access to larger computers was rare and expensive. In that environment, it was important that programs were efficient in terms of computer resources such as memory and processor utilization. Now, 20 years later, computers are ubiquitous and relatively inexpensive, and the emphasis is on making people more efficient rather than making effective use of computing resources.

This session will talk about the types of efficiencies that occupied the minds of software developers in those earlier years, and how and when those skills can still be applied today. Today's emphasis on making people effective often leads to a completely different way of looking at the type of software developed and the tools and techniques used to create it. Although these two types of efficiency appear to be completely opposing, they are often complementary, and in fact are just two different viewpoints on the same problem - optimizing overall system efficiency given a set of constraints.

David Yach

David Yach is Senior Vice President of Software at Research In Motion Limited (RIM), the makers of the popular BlackBerry wireless solution. David has overall responsibility for the full range of software produced at RIM, which includes low level signal processing on DSP's, handheld device real-time operating system, handheld-based Java Virtual Machine, Java-based handheld applications, Windows NT based corporate servers, all the way through to a fully redundant distributed server network operating centre.

David received his B. Math from the University of Waterloo in 1983 and an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University in 1988. After completing his undergraduate degree, David went to work for Watcom, an early UW spinoff, developing language interpreters and compilers. His work there included the design and development on Watcom C/C++, the Watcom SQL database (more popularly known as SQL Anywhere), and the industry's first complete ODBC implementation. David has been at RIM since 1998, and in addition to his management responsibilities has continued to be involved in the design (and sometimes the implementation) of the end-to-end BlackBerry solution. He is the inventor or co-inventor on numerous patents and patent applications.

David will receive the J.W. Graham Medal in Computing and Innovation at convocation at the University of Waterloo on June 19, 2004.

For more information, call:

519-888-4567 x 3638

Seminar Sponsorship

This seminar is sponsored by the Faculty of Mathematics.

The infraNET Project is proud to provide promotional assistance to this seminar presentation.