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Donald Knuth

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Donald Knuth — author of The Art of Computer Programming


Donald Knuth is a towering figure in computer science, widely considered the “father” of the analysis of algorithms, attribute grammars, empirical study of programming languages and literate programming — the notion that computer programs should be readable by and understandable to non-programmer humans as well as machines.

Appointed a professor at Stanford in 1968, Knuth stayed until his retirement in 1993. He introduced a variety of new courses into the Stanford curriculum, notably Concrete Mathematics, and has mentored numerous doctoral scholars.

His life’s work is The Art of Computer Programming, a proposed seven-volume compilation of his insights on writing computer software. Knuth started his magnus opus in 1963 and has published four of the seven volumes. This singular work has sold over a million copies and has been translated into 10 languages.