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Steven S. Muchnick, PhD (Steve)

Steve was born in 1945 on a date he was honored to find would become World AIDS Day (December 1). He and his sister were inculcated by their parents early on with the concept of tzedakah (Hebrew for charity), and he has carried that on in his life by supporting local, national, and international community organizations with both time and money.


Steve earned his PhD in Computer Science from Cornell University in 1974. He was an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Kansas (KU) from January 1974 through June 1977. He was promoted to Associate Professor and tenured that summer and resigned from KU in June 1981. He was a Visiting Associate Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at U.C. Berkeley from August 1979 through June 1981 and had several other shorter visiting positions in the U.S. and Europe.


From July 1981 through December 1983 he was a Senior Member of Technical Staff at Hewlett-Packard’s Advanced Systems Laboratory in Palo Alto, where he served on a seven-member team that designed what would become the HP PA-RISC computer architecture, which unified all three of HP’s low-end to high-end lines of computer systems.


In January 1984 he was hired by Sun Microsystems to be the first manager in the Software Division, serving as Manager of Programming Languages and Tools until December 1994, growing it from five engineers to four managers and 26 engineers. In May 1986 he was selected to be the first Distinguished Engineer in the company. While at Sun he served on a seven-member team that designed the SPARC computer architecture, which was retired after 30 years by Oracle, which bought Sun in 2010.


During his academic and industrial careers, Steve served as chair of the over 10,000-member professional association in his specialty area for two years, authored or co-authored four technical books and five book chapters, shared in three patents, held four journal and book-series editorships, wrote or co-wrote 13 journal articles, wrote or co-wrote 20 conference papers and 20 open access technical reports, served as the sole or primary author of 40 Hewlett-Packard internal technical reports, wrote 48 book reviews, and delivered 58 technical lectures, including serving as the keynote speaker at the 1992 Japanese Sun Users Group Symposium. In 1999, a paper he had written in 1986 was included as the best paper of that year in an anthology of papers in his primary field. His fourth book, the 850-pp. Advanced Compiler Design and Implementation, for graduate students and professionals in his primary field of expertise, was published by Elsevier in 1997, was the primary text in its field for 15 years, and is still paying royalties.


Steve became HIV positive in the summer of 1982 and was officially disabled from December 1994 through December 2010. In early 2011 he retired. In 2001, he began the first of a long series of HIV-related volunteer activities as a member of the Kaiser Permanente San Francisco (KPSF) HIV/AIDS Advisory Board (a partnership of Health-Plan members and healthcare providers), serving at various times as co-chair of the Board and co-chair of its Clinical and Communications Task Forces. In 2002, he became a member of the Editorial Board of the KPSF HIV Update newsletter, for which he has written over a dozen articles.


In November 2003, Steve became a member of the Community Advisory Group (CAG) of the San Francisco Department of Public Health’s HIV Research Section (now named Bridge HIV). He serves as the Bridge HIV CAG representative to the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) Global CAB and a member of the Global CAB’s Scientific Working Group (SWG), and was chair of the SWG’s Scientific Literacy Subgroup.


In June 2005, he became an AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition (now simply AVAC) Advocate.


From January 2008 through May 2012, Steve was a member of the CDC-sponsored City and County of San Francisco HIV Prevention Planning Council.


In May 2012, he became a member of the UCSF AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) CAB. In March 2013, he became the CAB’s member of the ACTG Global CAB.


In early 2012, Steve became a member of ATAC (AIDS Treatment Advocacy Coalition) and its Drug Development Committee.


In May 2013, he became a member of the CAB of the Delaney AIDS Research Enterprise (DARE) to Find a Cure.


Steve has participated with a community-educator scholarship in the 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2018 Conferences on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI).


Steve and Eric Milliren, his life partner since August 1988 and legal spouse since August 2008, live in San Francisco.

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