Professor Don Knuth
This years Turing Lecture is delivered by Donald E. Knuth, Professor Emeritus of The Art of Computer Programming at Stanford University.
08 February 2011 IT channel
The 2011 event does not follow the usual lecture format. Instead, Don will make a short introduction and then take questions about any subject.
He warns in advance that 'the audience should be aware that the answers will be my best shot, though those outside the field of The Art of Programming may have somewhat less credibility than a Wikipedia article'
A brief history of the lecture
The all-pervasive nature of the general-purpose computer has made the most profound mark on almost every aspect of our lives. The central seminal figure in this computer revolution was Alan Turing, whose outstanding originality and vision was what made it possible, in work originating in the mid 1930s. Although it is now hard to see what the limits of the computer revolution might eventually be, it was Turing himself who pointed out to us the very existence of such theoretical limitations.
In honour and recognition of Turing's contribution in the field of computing, the IEE (as the IET was then) and the BCS established the Turing Lecture with the first lecture being presented in 1999.
It is a world leading event, presenting a topic from current research in computer science and given by an acknowledged expert in the field. The lecture has routinely had audiences of over 400 delegates at the London lecture. It is also usually toured around UK cities with some of the lectures in the past being held in Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester.
The content of the lecture is published in the BCS's Computer Journal and available for viewing on IET.tv. The lecture is intended to attract significant audiences from the industrial research/development and academic sectors. As such the lecture is accessible to a somewhat wider audience than those involved in the specific field of academic research. The IET and BCS jointly handle the promotion and administration of the lecture.
Donald E. Knuth (B.S. and M.S., Case Institute of Technology 1960; Ph.D., California Institute of Technology 1963) is Professor Emeritus of The Art of Computer Programming at Stanford University, where he supervised the Ph.D. dissertations of 28 students since becoming a professor in 1968.
He is the author of numerous books, including three widely translated volumes (so far) of The Art of Computer Programming, recently augmented by a new hardback released as 4A, five volumes of Computers & Typesetting, and a non-technical book entitled 3:16 Bible Texts Illuminated. His software systems TeX and MF are extensively used for book publishing throughout the world.
He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, and he is a foreign associate of the French, Norwegian, Russian and Bavarian science academies as well as the Royal Society of London.
He received the Turing Award from the Association for Computing Machinery in 1974; BCS Distinguished Fellowship in 1980; the National Medal of Science from President Carter in 1979; the Steele Prize from the American Mathematical Society in 1986; the Adelsköld Medal from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1994; the Harvey Prize from the Technion of Israel in 1995; the John von Neumann Medal from the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers in 1995; and the Kyoto Prize from the Inamori Foundation in 1996.
He holds honorary doctorates from Oxford University, the University of Paris, the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, the University of St. Petersburg, the University of Marne-la-Vallée, Masaryk University, St. Andrews University, Athens University of Economics and Business, the University of Macedonia in Thessaloniki, the Universities of Tübingen, Antwerp, ETH, Oslo and Bordeaux, and at least eighteen colleges and universities in America.
Don hasn't had an email address since 1 January 1990 and as might be expected of owners of a sixteen-rank 812 pipe Abbot and Sicker organ he and his wife Jill are members of the American Guild of Organists.