Who Are The Most Famous Computer Scientists?

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Key Infor­ma­tion:

  • Alan Tur­ing, known for his foun­da­tion­al work in the­o­ret­i­cal com­put­er sci­ence and arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence, is a pio­neer in com­put­er science.
  • Tim Bern­ers-Lee invent­ed the World Wide Web, and Linus Tor­valds, cre­at­ed Lin­ux oper­at­ing system.
  • Pro­gram­ming lan­guage devel­op­ers like Grace Hop­per devel­oped the first com­pil­er and COBOL language.
  • These com­put­er sci­en­tists have had an impact on mod­ern tech­nol­o­gy, influ­enc­ing every­thing from soft­ware devel­op­ment to inter­net infrastructure.

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.


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