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Dr. Mark Dean

Fisher Distinguished Professor

Photo of Dr. Mark Dean

Contact Information

Mailing Address:
Min H. Kao Building, Room 319
1520 Middle Drive
Knoxville, TN 37996-2250
Office Phone: 865-974-5784
Office Fax: 865-974-5483

Areas of Interest

  • Advanced Computer Architectures – cognitive system devices, structures, architectures and learning models, non-Von Neumann data-centric computer architectures and programming models
  • Big Data Systems – deep Q/A systems, evidence based delivery of information and services
  • Computational Science – improved utilization of high performance computing to support scientific study and exploration


  • Ph.D. Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA (9/89 – 6/92)
    Thesis: “STRiP, A Self-Timed RISC Processor Architecture”
    Course work: Computer/processor architecture, VLSI design, and parallel system architecture
    Thesis Advisor: Dr. Mark Horowitz
  • M.S. Electrical Engineering, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL (1/80 – 4/82)
    Thesis Project: “Design of a Low-Cost Graphics Terminal”
  • B.S. Electrical Engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (9/75 – 9/79)
    Graduated with Highest Honors


Dr. Mark E Dean is a John Fisher Distinguished Professor at the University of Tennessee College of Engineering. His research focus is in advanced computer architecture (beyond Von Neumann systems), data centric computing and computational sciences.

Prior to joining UT, Dr. Dean was Chief Technology Officer of the Middle East and Africa for IBM and an IBM Fellow. In this role he was responsible for technical strategy, technical skills development and exploring new technology based solutions for the region. These responsibilities include the development of solutions specific for the emerging needs of the businesses and cultures in industry segments such as mobile services (banking, healthcare, education, government), natural resource management (oil, gas, mining, forest, water), cloud based business services, and security (fraud protection, risk management, privacy, cybersecurity).

Dr. Dean was also vice president World Wide Strategy and Operations for IBM Research. In this role, he was responsible for setting the direction of IBM’s overall Research Strategy across eight worldwide labs and leading the global operations and information systems teams. These responsibilities include management of the division’s business model, research strategy, hiring, university relations, internal/external recognition, personnel development, innovation initiatives and the division’s operations.

During his career, Dr. Dean has developed all types of computer systems, from embedded systems to supercomputers, including testing of the first gigahertz CMOS microprocessor, and establishing the team that developed the Blue Gene supercomputer. He was also chief engineer for the development of the IBM PC/AT, ISA systems bus, PS/2 Model 70 & 80, the Color Graphics Adapter in the original IBM PC, and holds three of the nine patents for the original IBM PC. One invention — the Industry Standard Architecture (ISA) “bus,” which permitted add-on devices like the keyboard, disk drives and printers to be connected to the motherboard — would earn election to the National Inventors Hall of Fame for Dean and colleague Dennis Moeller.

Dr. Dean received a BSEE degree from the University of Tennessee in 1979, an MSEE degree from Florida Atlantic University in 1982, and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 1992.

Dr. Dean’s most recent awards include: National Institute of Science Outstanding Scientist Award, member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, member of the National Academy of Engineering, IEEE Fellow, Black Engineering of the Year, the University of Tennessee COE Dougherty Award, member of the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame, and recipient of the Ronald H. Brown American Innovators Award.


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