Professor Desnoyers is interested in the potential for new storage technologies, especially flash memory, to transform computing. For the last four decades the desire to avoid low-performance operations on magnetic disks have forced many trade-offs in the way in which we organize data, structure programs, and build machines. New storage technologies eliminate the penalty for these operations, but if used only as fast disks, the opportunity to re-examine these trade-offs will be lost.
His work is organized into two projects: the Storage Machine and File Systems of the Future. The first project aims at taking advantage of the divisibility of solid state memory, interspersing storage and computation to create a system which scales to levels of performance needed by high-end scientific computations. On the application side, File Systems of the Future is an attempt to move the boundary between software and the file system, allowing applications to access, search, and manipulate external persistent objects as easily as internal, in-memory ones.
Professor Desnoyers is also broadly interested in operating systems and virtualization, and spent a post-doctoral year at VMware. Prior to receiving his PhD in 2007 he spent fifteen years in industry at Apple, Motorola, and at a number of start-ups. He received his BS and MS degrees in EECS from MIT in 1988. He has been awarded a 2012 National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award in recognition of his work.