John K. Ousterhout

John K. Ousterhout
John K. Ousterhout
Associated organizations
Stanford University
Fields of study
IEEE Reynold B. Johnson Information Storage Systems Award, IEEE Browder J. Thompson Memorial Prize Paper Award


John K. Ousterhout received the B.S. degree in Physics from Yale University in 1975 and the Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1980. In 1980 he was with the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the Berkeley campus of the University of California, where he was an Associate Professor. He and his students have developed several widely-used programs for computer-aided design, including Magic, Caesar, and Crystal. His research interests include computer-aided design, operating systems, and VLSI architecture. He is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award and the UCB Distinguished Teaching Award.

John K. Ousterhout and Mendel Rosenblum introduced a radically different approach to file system design with their log-structured file system (LFS), first presented in 1992. LFS treats disks more like a tape drives, appending all new data sequentially rather than making random accesses. This improved write speed as much as 10x by avoiding expensive disk-head movement, and also enabled faster recovery from computer crashes. The duo’s work has influenced storage systems at all levels, from remapping layers on magnetic disks to flash translation layers to large-scale datacenter storage systems.

Dr. Ousterhout is an IEEE member and professor at Stanford University, CA, USA. Ousterhout was the recipient of the 2014 IEEE Reynold B. Johnson Information Storage Systems Award with Rosenblum.