The advances of computer technology have been pioneered by some of humanity’s most inspired thinkers. From the early groundbreakers like Ada Lovelace and Alan Turing, to the visionaries who brought personal computing into our homes like Bill Gates and Steve Wozniak, to developers of the internet like Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Tim Berners-Lee, genius computer scientists have built on each others work to create and improve upon the most dynamic modern technology. As the Information Age progresses, contributors to the field of computer science will continue to be some of our most influential thinkers. There is currently a wide skills gap between available jobs in computer science, and the amount of qualified candidates, so if you think you might be cut out for a career in the field of computer science, there is a high societal demand that is not going away anytime soon.
If you want to learn the basics and get your foot in the door in the field of computer science in a timely and affordable manner, check out our list of the Top 10 Cheapest Online Bachelors of Computer Science Degrees. Here’s a closer look at these famous computer scientists who developed the theories that form the basis of computer science curriculums.
Daughter of the English Poet Lord Byron, Ada Lovelace was an English mathematician who lived in the first half of the nineteenth century, starting her career more than a century before the first general-purpose computers were built. She was the visionary behind Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, which used many of the concepts that continue to form the basis for modern computing. This year, people around the world will remember her on October 9th, Ada Lovelace Day, which is an international celebration of the accomplishments of women in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).
Alan Turing was an English computer scientist who developed advances into theoretical computer science, by putting algorithms to use in his Turing machine, which was one of the first general-purpose computers. The Turing Award is an annual prize given by the Association for Computing Machinery to modern contributors to computer science.
Bill Gates needs no introduction, by designing the Windows operating system he created the most popular platform for personal computing. His operating system has made him the wealthiest private citizen in America, as he ranks first on the Forbes 400 for 2017.
Sometimes referred to as “The Second Steve”, Steve Wozniak was the computer genius behind the original Apple Computers, for which Steve Jobs provided the public persona. Wozniak is still one of the most influential computer scientists, as he has set up numerous educational and philanthropic projects to help bring up the next generation of computer scientists.
Tim Berners-Lee is an English computer scientist who invented the World Wide Web in 1989. As an employee of CERN in Switzerland, he wrote the first web browser computer program. His developments laid the groundwork for what the internet has become today. He is currently a professional research fellow in the Department of Computer Science at Oxford University.
As PhD students at Stanford University in 1996, Larry Page and Sergey Brin collaborated on a Digital Library Project, which used their PageRank algorithm to find the most relevant information for users trying to navigate the nascent World Wide Web. Their algorithm was so successful that it has turned into the most trafficked search engine today, which you know as Google. Page and Brin continue to shape the face of the internet, as Google has become much more than just a search engine.