Home page Conference / Award Ceremony
  • Technical Program
  • Speakers
  • Panels
  • Social Events
  • Call for Papers
  • Tech. Program Committee

  • The 1999 ACM SIGMOBILE award for Outstanding Contributions to Research on Mobility of Systems, Users, Data, and Computing went to Dr. Mark D. Weiser, the Chief Technology Officer of Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). The award was given in recognition of Dr. Weiser's numerous contributions and visionary leadership in the field of Ubiquitous Computing.

    This award is given by ACM SIGMOBILE to recognize an individual who has made significant and lasting contribution to the research on mobile communications and wireless networking. The contribution can be a single event or a life-time of achievement.

    Principal Nominating Statement for Dr. Mark D. Weiser

    Principal Nominator:
    Prof. Randy H. Katz
    United Microelectronics Corporation Distinguished Professor and Chair
    Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department
    University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, CA 94720-1770
    E-mail: randy @

    Dr. Roy Want
    Area Manager, Embedded Systems
    Xerox Palo Alto Research Center
    3333 Coyote Hill Rd.
    Palo Alto, CA 94304
    E-mail: want @

    Dr. Victor Bahl
    Systems and Networking Research Group
    Microsoft Research
    One Microsoft Way
    Redmond, WA 98052-6399
    E-mail: bahl @

    Prof. Leonard Kleinrock
    Computer Science Department
    University of California, Los Angeles
    Los Angeles, CA 90095-1596
    E-mail: lk @

    Prof. David B. Johnson
    Computer Science Department
    Carnegie Mellon University
    5000 Forbes Avenue
    Pittsburg, PA 15213-3891
    E-mail: dbj @

    Mark Weiser is a true visionary and leader of mobile computing, and is the most deserving individual for receiving the SIGMOBILE Outstanding Contribution Award this year. His contributions to the field are legion, and his recognition by the research community is long overdue.

    Mark was the first computer science researcher to see the opportunities for computer science to make significant contributions in mobile computing. He coined the term "ubiquitous computing" to describe an environment of pervasive computing devices interconnected via wireless networks. His papers on ubiquitous computing, in particular, "The Computer for the Twenty-First Century," Scientific American, Vol. 265, No. 3, (September 1991), pp. 94-104, and "Some Computer Science Issues in Ubiquitous Computing," Communications of the ACM, Vol. 36, No. 7, (July 1993), pp. 75-84, are true classics of the field. They are required reading for anyone entering the field.

    Through his inspiring technical vision, effective evangelism, and strong leadership, he inspired an entire generation of computer scientists to tackle the hardest problems of mobile computing and wireless networking. He lead the renaissance of the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, remaking it as a world leading center in the mobile computing field. In the grandest tradition of PARC, he led a large team of researchers in the design, implementation, deployment, and evaluation of several generations of leading mobile computing technologies and systems.

    His impact went far beyond Xerox PARC. For example, he has been a valued participant in the research retreats of a large number of projects at Berkeley, from RAID to IRAM. He has been a friendly and constructive critic, and a committed mentor to many more junior researchers and graduate students.

    For his outstanding and sustained contributions and leadership in the field of mobile computing, Mark Weiser is the most qualified candidate to receive the 1999 SIGMOBILE Outstanding Contribution Award.

    Weiser photo
    Mark D. Weiser
    July 23, 1952 - April 27, 1999


    Dr. Mark Weiser, Chief Technology Officer at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), was best known for his contributions to the field of mobile computing. He was often referred to as the father of "ubiquitous computing". He coined that term in 1988 to describe a future in which PCs will be replaced with invisible computers embedded in everyday objects. He believed that this will lead to an era of "calm technology," in which technology, rather than panicking us, will help us focus on what is really important to us.

    Other research interests included garbage collection, operating systems and user interface design. Dr. Weiser, who held several U.S. and foreign patents, wrote or co-wrote more than 75 technical publications on such subjects as the psychology of programming, program slicing, operating systems, programming environments, garbage collection and technological ethics. He taught graduate and undergraduate courses on human factors, systems, and programming. He was a popular speaker at scientific symposia and conferences, and a frequent subject of media interviews.

    Dr. Weiser, who founded three companies, was the drummer with rock band Severe Tire Damage, the first band to perform live on the Internet. He was born on July 23rd, 1952 in Chicago, Illinois. He was married with two children. The following are highlights of his career accomplishments. For more details, please see


    1999Recipient the of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) SIGMOBILE Outstanding Contribution Award, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to mobile computing
    1996-1999Chief Technology Officer, Xerox PARC
    Dec., 1995Program Chair for the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Fifteenth Symposium on Operating System Principles (SOSP)
    June, 1993Severe Tire Damage became the first band to broadcast live video and audio worldwide on the Internet.
    1993ACM & IEEE, International Conference on Software Engineering "Best Paper Ten Years Later" award for "Program Slicing."
    1992-1994Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering
    1992-1994Elected to board of the Computer Research Association. Founder of the CRA series of annual conferences for heads of industrial computer science research laboratories.
    Sept., 1991Seminal article, The Computer of the 21st Century, appeared in "Scientific American" magazine. It remains essential reading for people entering the field.
    1988-1995Manager of the Computer Science Laboratory, Xerox PARC
    1988Became Principal Scientist, Xerox PARC
    1987Joined Xerox PARC as Member of Research Staff
    1979-1987C.S. Dept., University of Maryland (Associate Chairman, 1986-1987)
    1979Received Ph.D. from University of Michigan, Computer and Communication Sciences
    1976Received M.S. from University of Michigan, Computer and Communication Sciences
    1973-1976Co-founder and President, Cerberus Inc., Ann Arbor, MI

    Other activities

    • Principal Investigator on grants and contracts with ARPA, AFOSR, NSF, and NASA.
    • Professional Societies: Association for Computing Machinery, IEEE Computer Society, AAAS.
    • Reviewer of papers and proposals for International Conference on Software Engineering, IEEE, Transactions on Software Engineering, Journal of Systems and Software, National Science Foundation, Communications of the ACM, Software-Practice & Experience, Acta Informatica, IEEE Software, and others.
    • Public Software: PCR - AutoTetris - game for Sun workstations, 1992; Portable Common Runtime system providing threads, garbage collection, I/O and symbol table management for multiple languages and operating systems, 1989; SDI - game for Sun workstations, 1987.

    Publications (partial list):

    Dan Russell and Mark Weiser. "The Future of Integrated Design of Ubiquitous Computing in Combined Real and Virtual Worlds." Proceedings CHI-98, Los Angeles, CA, pp. 275-276, 1998.

    Mark Weiser and John Seely Brown. "Center and Periphery: Balancing the Bias of Digital Technology," Blueprint for the Digital Economy, pp 317-335, Edited by Don Tapscott, McGraw-Hill, 1998.

    Mark Weiser and John Seely Brown. "Riding on a Sea of Calm", World Link, pp 48-50, January/February 1998

    Mark Weiser and John Seely Brown. "Designing Calm Technology" , PowerGrid Journal, v 1.01, , July 1996. Also appeared as Chaper 6 - "The Coming Age of Calm Technogy" in the book "Beyond Calculation - The Next Fifty Years of Computing" by Peter J. Denning and Robert M. Metcalfe, Copernicus/An Imprint of Springer-Verlag.

    Mark Weiser. "Open House," Review, the web magazine of the Interactive Telecommunications Program of New York University. March 1996,

    Roy Want, Bill Schilit, Norman Adams, Rich Gold, David Goldberg, Karin. Petersen, John Ellis and Mark Weiser. "An Overview of the Parctab Ubiquitous Computing Experiment," IEEE Personal Communications, December 1995, Vol 2. No.6, pp28-43

    Mark Weiser and Andy Garman. "Bleeding Edge Technology -- From Lab Coats to Market Caps," Red Herring, August 1995

    Mark Weiser. "The Technologist's Responsibilities and Social Change," Computer-Mediated Communication Magazine, V2N4. April 1, 1995

    Mark Weiser, Alan Demers, Brent Welch, Scott Shenker. "Scheduling for Reduced CPU Energy", Operating System Design and Implementation (OSDI) Conference, Monterey, CA. November, 1994

    Vicky Reich and Mark Weiser. "Libraries are More than Information: Situational Aspects of Electronic Libraries," CSL Technical Report 93-21, June 1994. also Serials Review, 1994, V20N3, pp. 31-38.

    Mark Weiser. "The World is not a Desktop," Interactions; January 1994; pp. 7-8

    Christopher A. Kantarjiev and Alan Demers and Ron Frederick and Robert T. Krivacic and Mark Weiser. "Experiences with X in a Wireless Environment," Proceedings USENIX Symposium on Mobile & Location-Independent Computing, August 1993.

    Mark Weiser, "Some Computer Science Problems in Ubiquitous Computing," Communications of the ACM, July 1993. (reprinted as "Ubiquitous Computing". Nikkei Electronics; December 6, 1993)

    Mark Weiser, "The Computer for the Twenty-First Century," Scientific American, September 1991

    Mark Weiser. Alan Demers, and Carl Hauser, "The Portable Common Runtime Approach to Interoperability," ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles, December 1989

    Hans Boehm and Mark Weiser. "Garbage Collection in an Uncooperative Environment," Software: Practice and Experience, September 1988

    Glenn Pearson and Mark Weiser. "Exploratory Evaluations of Two Versions of a Foot-Operated Cursor-Positioning Device in a Target Selection Task," Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 88, May 1988

    Jack Callahan, Don Hopkins, Mark Weiser, and Ben Shneiderman. "Experiments with Pie Menus," Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 88, May 1988

    Mark Weiser. "Program slicing," IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol. SE-10, no. 4, July 1984

    Mark Weiser and Chris Torek. "The Maryland Window System," Proceedings of the 1984 Unix Users (Usenix) Conference, pp. 166-172, Salt Lake City, Utah, June, 1984