Arvind's Sixtieth Birthday Celebration

On 18 May 2007, in honor of Arvind's sixtieth birthday, an all day celebration was held at MIT. There is an official website for the Dataflow to Synthesis Retrospective, and photos available online: CSAIL photos and Richard Soley's photos (large files - like Richard).

Also, there is an online version of a Memory Book that is under construction.

This page tells the story of the day, from the planning through the party, from Steve's perspective. Click on any photo for a larger version.

The planning of the day began in discussion between Arvind and me. Arvind threatened to withdraw my PhD if I didn't agree to organize the day. More seriously, I was delighted to facilitate such an occasion. A committee was formed of the following folks.

Andy and Derek lived in Baker House when I was a floor tutor (graduate resident). Andy joined CSG (Arvind's group) as a UROP (undergraduate researcher) working with Richard Soley (I think). Andy and I graduated together in 1989, Andy with his BS, and I with my PhD. Andy continued in the group as a grad student, taking over my role as group event organizer. Andy put together the technical program, no small challenge. Derek also joined the group, but stayed longer than Andy. Derek raised money for the event from CSAIL, an anonymous donor, Intel, Nokia, and Sun.

Jan joined CSG and also stayed a while, and eventually he joined Sun Labs where we work on the same team. Jan assembled a tree of Arvind's students and their students. Larry is Arvind's colleague, and was quite helpful in relating to people and organizations at MIT. Larry also set up a plannning TWiki for the planning committee.

In reality, most of the work was done by Sally Lee, Arvind's most excellent assistant. She built the official web site, organized registration, managed logistics for everything, designed the graphic above, ordered mugs, arranged food, arranged a band, arranged video taping, and on and on and on ... .

I drove the overall organization, sent out communication, and planned the evening festivities.

About a month before the event, Victor had offered to help in whatever way he was able, so he attended a committee meeting. His advice was quite helpful overall, and he suggested the book of memories, an excellent addition.

As a team, we generally worked pretty well together, meeting once a week on the phone and exchanging email in between. I'm not sure we were ever all on the phone at the same time.

The Technical Program

Andy Shaw constructed the technical program. We looked back, reflected on current times, and looked ahead. The official program page is here.

Andy Shaw
Jack Dennis Where It All Began
Rishiyur Nikhil TTDA, MEF, Id, Monsoon
Derek Chiou StarT-NG and Voyager
Keshav Pingali The Perils of Abstraction
Zena Ariola Relating Dataflow & λ-calculus
Jan-Willem Maessen Memory Models
James Hoe Co-Design / Synthesis
Joe Stoy BlueSpec
David Culler Sensors
Bob Iannucci Mobile Computing
Jack Dennis

Rishiyur Nikhil
Derek Chiou
Keshav Pingali

Zena Ariola
David Culler
Jan-Willem Maessen

James Hoe
Joe Stoy
Bob Iannucci

The Evening Program


Joe StoyShail Aditya GuptaRam SaxenaCharles LeisersonSteve Heller

If anyone sends me their toast, I'll post.

In my toast, I first referred to two people who would have liked to be present, and we'd have liked to have them present, but they have passed away. By mentioning their names and saying a bit about them, I included them by reference.

First was the man who introduced me to Arvind. In 1979, Dr. Harold Fleisher, an IBM Fellow, brought his group to MIT to attend the Summer Dataflow course taught by Jack and Arvind. (Ray Phoenix, a member of Dr. Fleisher's team, wrote a song about Dataflow: Dataflow Forever.) The next summer, they hired Arvind to come to Poughkeepsie to consult with the group. That was my first summer with the group as a Co-op student (6A). Arvind spoke λ-Calculus, and I could spell λ, so I was the logical intermediary between Arvind and the IBM team. Arvind and I eventually ended up working together redesigning the group's language IDL (Interactive Design Language), a language for specifying control logic that could generate PLA personalities. Arvind and I were charged with the design of a structured version of this hardware specification language for control hardware synthesis.

A second person we all miss and remember fondly is Bhaskar Guha-Roy. Bhaskar was a delightful team member that brought smiles to all our faces as he smiled along with us. Known by some as Bhaskar Bhaiya, we miss him dearly. Here is Greg Papadopoulos, Bhaskar, David Culler and me at Bhaskar and Marsala's wedding.

My toast continued by noticing the large family around Arvind, a group of many types of people.

One man brings us all together. Please join me in a toast to Arvind. Cheers!


Victor Zue Srini Devadas

Victor Zue, representing CSAIL, chaired a mock exam given to Avind by several of his students. Srini Devadas, representing EECS, also sat on the exam committee. Chuck Johnson, Arvind's Patron, had hoped to sit on the committee as well, but was unable to attend. Chuck was wondering if Arvind really deserved to be supported in the future. Okay, he wasn't really wondering, but all's fair in toasting and roasting.

Yonald Chery Andy Shaw Richard Soley Alex Caro Steve Heller

Yonald Chery was a hard act to follow. Andy Shaw waxed philosophical on Arvind's naming strategy. Richard Soley and Alex Caro roasted Arvind to a crisp. I sang a song written for the event.

Arvind Gita

Arvind defended himself, and Gita said the following.

In Hindi there is a saying : "Do Haathon se taali bajti hai" which means, that it takes two hands to clap. I feel overwhelmed with the love and recognition given me for the family atmosphere that prevailed in Arvind's group. But it was a two way process... we got so much love, and Divakar and Prabhakar are who they are thanks to all the interaction and fun they experienced growing up among the talented students Arvind was lucky to have taught. They were held upside down, there was magic and balloon animals, and of course they had ready made big brothers (Bhaiya) and sisters (Didi). Hilary Cilnton wrote a book 'It takes a village to raise a family", but my sons grew up in one at MIT. Thank you for all the love and attention you have showered on our family.

There are some people I would like to recognise who are here to celebrate with Arvind: Prof Ramchandra Rao Dasari, Associate Director of the Laser Research Laboratory at MIT, and his lovely wife Suhasini. They have been the warmest of friends and advisors to our family. Prof Rao taught Freshman Physics to Arvind at IIT Kanpur in 1964! Currently Prof Rao is the director of the Physics Laser Lab and Suhasini works as an Administrator at the MIT Health Plan. Dr. Aroop Manglik, Arvind's uncle. He lives in Albuquerqe and when he heard that Arvind was turning 60, he said he was coming to celebrate! Natalie Tarbet, Arvind's secretary in the early years, and a dear friend to all of us. Natalie was a real mother figure to all the students, and was able to tick them off as well, something that I could not have done!

About 2 weeks before I was leaving for India on the 16th of April to take care of my mother, I wrote to Steve to ask if I could help in any way for the big event. He wrote'"Oh no, no, no. Don't worry if you cannot make it back in time. You only have one mother, but you could always get another husband!"

Divakar & Prabhakar

Birthday Present

Ken Traub was the gift consultant, scoring a case of fine wine.
Champagne 1996 Dom Perignon
NV Krug Grand Cuvee
Red Bordeaux 1995 Ch. Leoville Las Cases (St. Julien)
2000 Ch. Leoville Barton (St. Julien)
1996 Ch. l'Angelus (St. Emilion)
1999 Ch. La Mission Haut-Brion (Pessac-Leognan)
Red Burgundy 1996 Clos Vougeot (Raphet)
2000 Chambertin Clos de Beze (Jadot)
Red Rhone 2000 Hermitage (Chave)
2003 Cote Rotie "Chateau d'Ampuis" (Guigal)
White Burgundy 2002 Corton-Charlemagne (Louis Latour)
Sweet Bordeaux 1947 Ch. Caillou (Sauternes)

Some Arvind Students
Have come to wish the old man
A Happy Birthday
Rear: Andy Shaw, Saed Younis, David Culler, James Hoe, Keshav Pingali, ??, Zena Ariola, Shail Aditya Gupta, Chris Joerg, Paul Barth, Jan-Willem Maessen & Alex Caro; Front: Gita Mithal, Ken Traub, Bob Iannucci, Steve Heller, Arvind, Richard Soley & Mike Beckerle

The boys brought their friends
To celebrate the Old Man
They were a delight
Sometimes life is good
One must be in the moment
See Arvind's big smile

Rogues Gallery

Al Vezza, Bob Fano, Joe Stoy
Guang Gao

Aroop Manglik
Keshav Pingali, Andy Boughton, Peggy Collins
Norman Ramsey

Therese Smith
Daniel Rosenband
Nikhil, Larry, Gita

Saed, Andy
Bob Iannucci
Donald Baltus

Natalie & Ken Steele
David Culler

Then and Now

Prabhakar hangs out
With Divakar his brother
Steve offers support
The boys have grown up
Some things don't change very much
Like geeks having fun

At Graduation
1989 was prime
time to leave the 'Tute
The boys have grown up
Some things don't change very much
Like geeks having fun

Andy Left Baker
Steve left campus completely
Well, we never leave
The boys have grown up
Some things don't change very much
Like geeks having fun

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