Neil J. Gunther

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Neil J. Gunther (born August 15, 1950 in Melbourne ) is an Australian scientist specializing in Computational Information Systems ( classical and quantum systems ), physicist , teacher , musician and author , internationally known for the development of open source queuing analysis Tools "PDQ" ( Pretty Damn Quick ). He was also cited for his contribution on the theory of large transients in computer systems and network packets, as well as his universal law of computational scalability . He is currently focusing on the development of quantum information technologies .

Neil Gunther in Bletchley Park 2002


Neil Gunther was born on August 15, 1950 in Preston , Victoria , Australia . He studied chemistry , physics and applied mathematics (1976) at La Trobe University, Australia, and received his PhD in theoretical physics (1980) from the University of Southampton , England. As a research student of Prof. CJ Eliezer (one of Paul Dirac's few research students ), Gunther has Dirac number 2.

In 1980 he settled in Silicon Valley . In the following years he taught physics at San José State University (1980–1981). While he worked on the new PC technology, he worked for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA , and developed thermoelectric materials in the Voyager - and Galileo were used -space.

From 1982 Gunther worked eight years in research for Xerox PARC . There he developed the PARC bench multiprocessor - Benchmark (an early SPEC benchmark) and wrote his dissertation on Feynman's path integral . This research formed the basis of Part III of his first book The Practical Performance Analyst . Other duties at PARC included VLSI design and testing for the Dragon multiprocessor workstation ; later the SPARC center 2000 multiprocessor from Sun Microsystems emerged. In 1990 Gunther worked as a Senior Scientist and Manager for Pyramid Technology (now Fujitsu Siemens Computers ). In 1994 he founded the Performance Dynamics Company, whose clients include such well-known companies as AT&T Wireless , eBay , FedEx and Sun Microsystems . Gunther teaches worldwide (including courses at Stanford University and the University of California, Los Angeles ) and has written a variety of articles and books on performance analysis . In 1996 he was honored for the Best Technical Paper of the Computer Measurement Group and is the recipient of the AA Michelson Award 2008.

Gunther is a member of the American Mathematical Society (AMS), the American Physical Society (APS), the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the Computer Measurement Group (CMG), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS).

Current research interests

Since 2004 Gunther has been researching quantum information systems based on photonics . During his research in this area, he developed a theory of photon bifurcation , which is currently being tested experimentally at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL).

Consulting practice

  • Performance Dynamics Company (SM), a company founded by Gunther in 1994 in California, offers consulting and training in the field of performance analysis and capacity planning of computer systems.
  • Development of PDQ (Pretty Damn Quick), a queuing analysis tool in the form of a Perl module.
  • Articles, books and presentations on aspects of performance analysis and capacity planning.
  • A new interpretation of Amdahl's law .
  • Developed the Guerrilla Manual.


  • Senior Member of the ACM (April 2009)
  • Senior Member of the IEEE (February 2009)
  • Laureate of the AA Michelson Award 2008
  • Summer Research Institute guest speaker, EPFL 2006 and 2007.
  • Lecturer, Western Institute of Computer Science, Stanford University , 1997-2000.
  • Best paper award, CMG conference 1996.
  • Visiting Student in Materials Science, Stanford University, 1981–1982.
  • University of Southampton Advanced Studies Travel Grant, 1978.
  • Science Research Council Studentship, UK 1976-1980.
  • Commonwealth Postgraduate Scholarship, Australia 1975–1976.

Selected bibliography


  • The Feynman Path Integral in Non-Relativistic Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Electrodynamics. La Trobe University (AUS), B.Sc. Honors dissertation, Department of Physics, 1974.
  • Dynamical Symmetry Groups: The Study and Interpretation of Certain Invariants as Group Generators in Quantum Mechanics, La Trobe University (AUS), M.Sc. dissertation, Department of Applied Mathematics, 1976.
  • Broken Dynamical Symmetries in Quantum Field Theory and Phase Transition Phenomena. University of Southampton (UK), Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Physics, 1979.



  • Goldstone Modes in First-order Phase Transitions. Sixth West Coast Conference on Statistical Mechanics, IBM Research Laboratories, San Jose, June (1980)
  • Instanton Techniques for Queuing Models of Large Computer Systems: Getting a Piece of the Action. Invited paper, SIAM Conference on Applied Probability in Science and Engineering, New Orleans, Louisiana, March (1990)
  • (Numerical) Investigations into Physical Power-law Models of Internet Traffic Using the Renormalization Group. IFORS Conference of Operations Research Societies, Honolulu, Hawaii, July 11-15 (2005)


Web links

Commons : Neil Gunther  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Neil J. Gunther: A Simple Capacity Model for Massively Parallel Transaction Systems. (PDF; 1.2 MB) In: Proc. CMG Conf. San Diego, California . CMG. Pp. 1035-1044. 1993. Retrieved January 18, 2011.
  2. ^ NJ Gunther: Dirac Number 2
  3. ^ NJ Gunther: The Feynman Path Integral in Non-Relativistic Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Electrodynamics. La Trobe University (AUS)
  4. a b A. A. Michelson Award Winners. (No longer available online.) Computer Measurement Group (CMG), 2010, archived from the original on September 6, 2011 .;
  5. photonics
  6. ^ Neil J. Gunther, E. Charbon, DL Boiko, G. Beretta: "Photonic Information Processing Needs Quantum Design Rules" . SPIE Online. 2006. Retrieved January 18, 2011.
  7. PDQ
  8. ^ NJ Gunther: A New Interpretation of Amdahl's Law and Geometric Scalability . 2002, arxiv : cs / 0210017 (PDC-TR190402).