Subversive Innovation

ECE Seminar: Subversive Innovation

Starts at: October 13, 2014 12:30 PM

Ends at: 2:00 PM

Location: Hamerschlag Hall, 1107

Speaker: Herman Schmit

Affiliation: Managing Architect, Altera



Being effective in an engineering organization is not easy.  In this talk, I will share myobservations on why it is hard and offer my advice on how to be effective without losing yourmind or your enthusiasm.  I call this "subversive innovation" because the machinery of atechnology enterprise is frequently and almost specifically constructed to prevent innovation. Ifyou don't get permission to do something innovative, sometimes those innovations have to besubtle, hidden or disguised. I put this talk together as part of a technical leadership series at Altera in 2013 and have adaptedit for a broader audience. I may offer some vague examples from my experience in FieldProgrammable Gate Arrays, but most of the discussion is applicable to any large technologyenterprise. I have tried to make the talk entertaining, and would love to collect more specificways to be subversive innovator.


Herman Schmit defended his Ph.D in HH1107 almost 20 years ago. From 1995 to 2003 he wasin different faculty positions in the ECE department. In 2001, he founded a startup. Since 2003,he has been at two Silicon Valley semiconductor startups, and since 2011 has been the FPGAfabric architect at Altera Corporation. He has 45 publications and 98 issued US patents. Alongwith Seth Goldstein and numerous graduate students, his 1999 paper at ISCA recently won the"ISCA Influential Paper Award" which is given 15 years after the conference.