Chris Terman

Chris Terman


Chris Terman is a Senior Lecturer in the EECS Dept. and a member of the Computer Architecture Group in CSAIL. Terman implemented several early prototypes for microprocessor-based workstations that led to the development of the IEEE-1196 Bus Architecture (the NuBus) which introduced the idea of plug-and-play peripherals. In his work on CAD tools for VLSI circuits, Terman developed several algorithms for full-chip transistor-level timing simulation including RSIM which was widely used in industry and academia.

During 10 years in industry, Terman cofounded several firms, including Symbolics Inc. (manufacturer of Lisp Machines), TLW Inc. (VLSI designs for communications and multimedia), and Curl Co. (software technology for the Web). After returning to MIT, Terman has worked on developing educational technology for use in teaching design-oriented courses. In 2011 and 2012, he was co-author of the first MOOC offered by MIT (6.002x), which was the prototype for the creation of the Open edX platform. Terman subsequently created a 3-module online course on the design and implementation of digital systems (6.004x), in which over 100,000 students have participated.

Terman has served as both Associate and Co-Director of CSAIL and is currently the Undergraduate Officer for the Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He was received numerous teaching awards for many decades of teaching courses in digital systems at the introductory, intermediate, and graduate levels.


  • Allen, J. and Terman C. "An Interactive Learning Environment for VLSI Design," Proc. IEEE, January 2000.
  • Ackland, B., Terman C., et al. "A Single-Chip 1.6Billion 16-b MAC/s Multiprocessor DSP," Custom Integrated Circuits Conference, San Diego, CA, May 1999.
  • Ward, S., Terman, C., et al. "Curl: A Gentle-slope Language for the Web," World Wide Web Journal, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 121-134, Spring 1997.
  • Terman, C. "Timing Simulation for Large Digital MOS Circuits," in Advances in Computer-Aided Engineering Design, A. Sangiovanni-Vincentelli ed., JAI Press Inc., 1985, pages 1-91.