Pioneers in IT

PersonAchievementAch. Date
John AtanasoffBuilt the first electronic digital computer, the Atanasoff–Berry Computer, though it was neither programmable nor Turing-complete.1939
Charles BabbageDesigned the Analytical Engine and built a prototype for a less powerful mechanical calculator.1822
John BackusInvented FORTRAN (Formula Translation), the first practical high-level programming language, and he formulated the Backus-Naur form that described the formal language syntax.1954
Jean BartikOne of first computer programmers, on ENIAC (1946), an early Vacuum tube computer back when “programming” involved using cables, dials, and switches to physically rewire the machine. Worked with John Mauchly toward BINAC (1949), EDVAC (1949), UNIVAC (1951) to develop early “Stored program” computers.1924
George BooleFormalized Boolean algebra, the basis for digital logic and computer science.1847
Nikolay BrusentsovBuilt ternary computer Setun.1958
Tim Berners-LeeInvented worldwide web. With Robert Cailliau, sent first HTTP communication between client and server.1989
Vannevar BushAnalogue computing pioneer. Originator of the Memex concept, which led to the development of Hypertext.1930
Vint Cerf and Bob KahnDesigned the Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), the primary data communication protocols of the Internet and other computer networks.1978
Bryan CantrillCreated the first implementation of dynamic tracing, DTrace, which was previously thought an impossible problem.2005
Alonzo ChurchFounded contributions to theoretical computer science, specifically for the development of the lambda calculus and the discovery of the undecidability problemwithin it.1936
Wesley A. ClarkDesigned LINC, the first functional computer scaled down and priced for the individual user. Put in service in 1963, many of its features are seen as prototypes of what were to be essential elements of personal computers.1962
Edmund M. ClarkeDeveloped model checking and formal verification of software and hardware together with E. Allen Emerson.1981
Edgar F. CoddProposed and formalized the relational model of data management, the theoretical basis of relational databases.1970
Stephen CookFormalized the notion of NP-completeness, inspiring a great deal of research in computational complexity theory.1971
James CooleyWith John W. Tukey, created the Fast Fourier Transform.1965
Ole-Johan DahlWith Kristen Nygaard, invented the proto-object oriented language SIMULA.1962
Edsger DijkstraMade advances in algorithms, Goto considered harmful, the semaphore (programming), rigor, and pedagogy.1968
J. Presper EckertWith John Mauchly, designed and built the ENIAC, the first modern (all electronic, Turing-complete) computer, and the UNIVAC I, the first commercially available computer.1943
E. Allen EmersonDeveloped model checking and formal verification of software and hardware together with Edmund M. Clarke.1981
Douglas EngelbartBest known for inventing the computer mouse (in a joint effort with Bill English); as a pioneer of human-computer interaction whose Augment team developedhypertext, networked computers, and precursors to GUIs.1963
Tommy FlowersDesigned and built the Mark 1 and the ten improved Mark 2 Colossus computers, the world’s first programmable, digital, electronic, computing devices.1943
Gottlob FregeDeveloped first-order predicate calculus, which was a crucial precursor requirement to developing computation theory.1879
Seymour GinsburgProved “don’t-care” circuit minimization does not necessarily yield optimal results, proved that the ALGOL programming language is context-free (thus linking formal language theory to the problem of compiler writing), and invented AFL Theory.1958
Kurt GödelProved that Peano axiomatized arithmetic could not be both logically consistent and complete in first-order predicate calculus. Church, Kleene, and Turing developed the foundations of computation theory based on corollaries to Gödel’s work.1931
Lois HaibtWas a member of the ten person team that invented Fortran and among the first women to play a crucial role in the development of computer science.1954
C.A.R. HoareDeveloped the formal language Communicating Sequential Processes (CSP) and Quicksort.1960
Grace HopperPioneered work on the necessity for high-level programming languages, which she termed automatic programming, and wrote the A-O compiler, which heavily influenced the COBOL language.1952
Cuthbert HurdHelped the International Business Machines Corporation develop its first general-purpose computer, the IBM 701.1952
Kenneth E. IversonAssisted in establishing the first graduate course in computer science (at Harvard) and taught that course; invented the APL programming language and made contribution to interactive computing.1954; 1962
Jacek KarpinskiDeveloped the first differential analyzer that used transistors, and developed one of the first machine learning algorithms for character and image recognition. Also was the inventor of one of the first minicomputers, the K-202.1973
Alan KayPioneered many of the ideas at the root of object-oriented programming languages, led the team that developed Smalltalk, and made fundamental contributions to personal computing.1970~
Stephen Cole KleenePioneered work with Alonzo Church on the Lambda Calculus that first laid down the foundations of computation theory.1936
Donald KnuthWrote The Art of Computer Programming and created TeX.1968
Leslie LamportFormulated algorithms to solve many fundamental problems in distributed systems (e.g. the bakery algorithm).
Developed the concept of a logical clock, enabling synchronization between distributed entities based on the events through which they communicate.
Sergei Alekseyevich LebedevIndependently designed the first electronic computer in the Soviet Union, MESM, in Kiev, Ukraine.1951
Gottfried LeibnizMade advances in symbolic logic, such as the Calculus ratiocinator, that were heavily influential on Gottlob Frege. Made developments in first-order predicate calculus that were crucial for the theoretical foundations of computer science.1670~
Ramon LlullDesigned multiple symbolic representations machines, and pioneered notions of symbolic representation and manipulation to produce knowledge—both of which were major influences on Leibniz.1300~
J. C. R. LickliderBegan the investigation of human-computer interaction, leading to many advances in computer interfaces as well as in cybernetics and artificial intelligence.1960
Ada LovelaceBegan the study of scientific computation, analyzing Babbage’s work in her Sketch of the Analytical Engine, and was the namesake for the Ada programming language.1843
John MauchlyWith J. Presper Eckert, designed and built the ENIAC, the first modern (all electronic, Turing-complete) computer, and the UNIVAC I, the first commercially available computer. Also worked on BINAC(1949), EDVAC(1949), UNIVAC(1951) with Grace Hopper and Jean Bartik, to develop early “Stored program” computers.1943
John McCarthyInvented LISP, a functional programming language.1955
Marvin MinskyCo-founder of Artificial Intelligence Lab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, author of several texts on AI and philosophy.1963
Max NewmanInstigated the production of the Colossus computers at Bletchley Park. After the war he established the Computing Machine Laboratory at the University of Manchester where the world’s first Stored-program computer, the Manchester Small-Scale Experimental Machine was invented.1943
John von NeumannDevised the von Neumann architecture upon which most modern computers are based.1945
Kristen NygaardWith Ole-Johan Dahl, invented the proto-object oriented language SIMULA.1962
Emil L. PostDeveloped the Post machine as a model of computation, independently of Turing. Known also for developing truth tables, the Post correspondence problem used in recursion theory as well as proving what is known as Post’s theorem.1936
Gerard SaltonA pioneer of automatic information retrieval, who proposed the vector space model and the inverted index.1975
Dennis Ritchie andKen ThompsonPioneered the C programming language and the UNIX computer operating system at Bell Labs.1967
Claude ShannonFounded information theory and practical digital circuit design.1937
Herbert A. SimonA political scientist and economist who pioneered artificial intelligence. Co-creator of the Logic Theory Machine and the General Problem Solver programs.1956
Ivan SutherlandAuthor of Sketchpad, the ancestor of modern computer-aided drafting (CAD) programs and one of the early examples of object-oriented programming.1963
John W. TukeyWith James Cooley, created the Fast Fourier Transform.1965
Alan TuringMade several founding contributions to computer science, including the Turing machine computational model, and ACE design.1936
Maurice WilkesBuilt the first practical stored program computer (EDSAC) to be completed and for being credited with the ideas of several high-level programming language constructs.1949
Niklaus WirthDesigned the Pascal, Modula-2 and Oberon programming languages.1970
Konrad ZuseBuilt the first functional tape-stored program-controlled computer, the Z3. The Z3 was proven to be Turing-complete in 1998.1941