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Donald Knuth

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Donald Knuth

(1938 - present)

Pioneer Computer Artist

Timothy Foster

CSCE 221H

http://www.fbbva.es/

The Life of Knuth

Pre-University

- Donald Knuth had a great interest in sentence and music structure
- How many words can you form out of “Ziegler’s Giant Bar”?
- Knuth produced 4500! The judges only had 2500…

http://www.retrocom.com/

The Life of Knuth

University

- Originally majored in Physics at Case Institute of Technology at Ohio
- Switched to Mathematics and graduated in 1960 with a Bachelor’s and a Master’s simultaneously
- First encountered the IBM 650 Computer as a freshman…
- …and proceeded to write programs better than its own.

- Doctorate in Mathematics at California Institute of Technology, 1963

http://www.columbia.edu/

His Life’s Work

The Art of Computer Programming

- Originally about compiler design, Knuth broadened the scope to include the rigorous analysis of various algorithms
- Planned to be Seven Volumes, with 3.25 already published
- TeX was invented as a result of writing this book
- According to the American Scientist, it is one of the “100 or so Books that shaped a Century of Science”

http://www.xkcd.com/

Awards

1974 Turing Award Winner

- 1971: First recipient of Grace Murray Hopper Award
- 1979: National Medal of Science
- 1995: John von Neumann Medal
- 1996: Kyoto Prize
- 1975: Elected into National Academy of Sciences
- 1990: Elected as Professor Emeritus of The Art of Computer Programming
- 2012: Fellow of American Mathematical Society

http://www.cs.utexas.edu/

Today

Retired, but Still Working

- Retired early from Stanford University in 1992
- Spends his time finishing The Art of Computer Programming
- Occasionally gives lectures at Stanford, called Computer Musings

http://www.tuwien.ac.at/

Resources

- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Knuth
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Art_of_Computer_Programming
- http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Biographies/Knuth.html
- http://amturing.acm.org/award_winners/knuth_1013846.cfm