Jonathan G. Koomey, Ph.D.

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What's New?

In Fall 2009, Dr. Koomey held a visiting professorship at Yale University's School of Forestry and Environmental studies, and in Fall 2008, he held the Shimizu Visiting Professorship in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University.

As of March 2007 Dr. Koomey has made a full transition to being an independent researcher. he retains his affiliations with Stanford and LBNL, visiting periodically to give talks and work with colleagues and students, but much of his time is spent on research issues that he believes are interesting and important for the world. Public speaking is occupying an increasing fraction of his time, as his interests in business intelligence, climate change economics, and electricity used by information technology equipment become more and more topical.

Recent technical work

In 2009, Dr. Koomey (in collaboration with colleagues at Intel, Microsoft, HP, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Carnegie Mellon University) completed work on three analyses of the energy and environmental impacts of information technology, one comparing downloading music to buying it on physical CDs, one assessing trends in costs, energy use, and performance of servers, and one analyzing the long term (60+ year) trends in the energy efficiency of computing. To read those studies, go here.

Dr. Koomey and Professor Nathan Hultman at the University of Maryland published a comprehensive analysis of the historical costs of nuclear power in the U.S. that appeared in the refereed journals Environmental Science and Technology (April 2007, with Dan Kammen of UC Berkeley), Environmental Review Letters (July 2007), and Energy Policy (November 2007). If you'd like copies of these articles please send email.

In 2006, Dr. Koomey led an industry consensus process to develop a standard protocol to measure energy use and performance of computer servers, resulting in release of a final measurement protocol in November 2006. On February 15th, 2007, he completed an analysis of the total power used by servers in the U.S. and the world in 2000 and 2005, which became the basis for the estimate of server power use contained in the EPA report to Congress on data centers. He added a regional analysis of total server power use in December 2007. This work led to a much media coverage, including two articles in the Wall Street Journal.

Dr. Koomey also completed an analysis of the total cost of ownership for data centers in collaboration with the Uptime Institute in October 2007.

Selected recent talks (for the complete list, go to Talks)

On February 22, 2007, Dr. Koomey gave a plenary lecture for The Data Warehousing Institute at their conference in Las Vegas focusing on the human aspects of Business Intelligence. Email if you'd like a PDF of the talk.

On September 20, 2007, Dr. Koomey talked with Professor Margot Gerritson of Stanford University about energy used by data centers for the Smart Energy Podcast. At that same link you'll find an audio interview with Dr. Koomey on the historical costs of nuclear power.

In late October 2007, Dr. Koomey talked with TechTarget's Matt Stannsberry about the costs and benefits of servers in the data center.

On December 4, 2007 Dr. Koomey gave a Google Tech Talk on data center electricity use that was posted on Youtube. He begins that talk by discussing the need for institutional and behavioral innovations (like those enabled by information technology) when facing the climate challenge.

Other work of note

Dr. Koomey wrote (with professors Marshall van Alstyne and Erik Brynjolfsson) a Wall Street Journal op-ed and an article in eWeek arguing for a hybrid solution to the email spam problem. Email him for copies.

Koomey, Jonathan, Marshall van Alstyne, and Erik Brynjolfsson. 2007. "You've got spam [Op-ed on solving the spam email problem]." The Wall Street Journal. New York, NY. September 6. p. A16.

Koomey, Jonathan, Marshall van Alstyne, and Erik Brynjolfsson. 2007. "Seeking a spam solution." In eWeek. October 8. pp. 60+70.


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