Famous 21st Century Computer Scientists

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite 21st Century Computer Scientists

 1 
Steve Wozniak
(Co-Founder of Apple Inc.)

Steve Wozniak
10
Birthdate: August 11, 1950
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: San Jose, California, United States

Widely recognized as one of the two important pioneers of the personal computer revolution, Steve Wozniak is credited with co-founding Apple Inc. along with Steve Jobs. Not surprisingly, he has been described as one of the men that changed the course of history through technology. Apart from being a programmer and technology entrepreneur, Steve Wozniak is also a well-known philanthropist.

 2 
Tim Berners-Lee
(Inventor of the World Wide Web)

Tim Berners-Lee
28
Birthdate: June 8, 1955
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London, England

Widely known as ten inventor of the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee made the first communication between an HTTP client and server through the internet in 1989. He is associated with various organizations, such as the W3C and the World Wide Web Foundation, and has received the knighthood, too.

 3 
Vint Cerf
(Computer scientist)

Vint Cerf
8
Birthdate: June 23, 1943
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New Haven, Connecticut, United States
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 4 
Ken Thompson
(Computer Scientist)

Ken Thompson
4
Birthdate: February 4, 1943
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

 5 
Dennis Ritchie
(Computer Scientist)

Dennis Ritchie
15
Birthdate: September 9, 1941
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bronxville, New York, United States
Died: October 12, 2011

Computer scientist, Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie, worked at Bell Labs Computing Sciences Research Center for most of his career, co-developing the Unix operating system and B programming language with Kenneth Thompson, co-winning the 1983 A.M. Turing Award for it. Earlier, he had also created C programming language and was involved with the development of the Plan 9 and Inferno operating systems.

 6 
Shigeru Miyamoto
(Video Game Designer, Artist)

Shigeru Miyamoto
29
Birthdate: November 16, 1952
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Sonobe
Japanese game designer Shigeru Miyamoto is the man behind games such as Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Donkey Kong. He has been the general manager and senior MD at Nintendo and now serves as its representative director and creative fellow. He avoids appearing on TV or giving autographs.

 7 
Marvin Minsky
(Mathematician, Computer scientist, University teacher)

Marvin Minsky
11
Birthdate: August 9, 1927
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York City
Died: January 24, 2016
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 8 
Jawed Karim
(Co-Founder of 'YouTube' and the First Person to Upload a Video to the Site)

Jawed Karim
6
Birthdate: October 28, 1979
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Merseburg, Germany

Jawed Karim is an American Internet entrepreneur and software engineer. Karim is credited with co-founding one of the most popular online video-sharing platforms, YouTube. He is also credited with uploading the first YouTube video named Me at the zoo. During his time working at PayPal, Jawed Karim had designed many of the company's core components, such as its anti-Internet-fraud system.

 9 
Tony Hoare
(Computer scientist)

Tony Hoare
7
Birthdate: January 11, 1934
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Colombo, Sri Lanka

Tony Hoare is a British computer scientist who is credited with developing the sorting algorithm quicksort. He is also credited with developing Hoare logic, a formal system for verifying program correctness. Over the years, Tony Hoare has received several prestigious awards for his contribution to computer science.

 10 
James Gosling
(Programmer, Inventor, Computer scientist)

James Gosling
13
Birthdate: May 19, 1955
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Calgary

James Gosling earned the nickname Dr. Java after he revolutionized the world of computer programming with his Java programming language. The Carnegie Mellon alumnus has had a 26-year stint with Sun Microsystems. The computer nerd has a picture of the first 1000 digits of √2 framed in his office.

 11 
Alan Kay
(Computer Scientist)

Alan Kay
9
Birthdate: May 17, 1940
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Springfield, Massachusetts

 12 
Bjarne Stroustrup
(Computer scientist, Engineer, Scientist, Programmer, Writer, University teacher)

Bjarne Stroustrup
13
Birthdate: December 30, 1950
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Aarhus

Bjarne Stroustrup is a Danish computer scientist best known for his invention and development of the popular C++ general-purpose programming language. He is currently working as a managing director at Morgan Stanley in New York, apart from serving as a visiting professor at the prestigious Columbia University. 

 13 
Gabe Newell
(Entrepreneur)

Gabe Newell
17
Birthdate: November 3, 1962
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington

Businessman Gabe Newell is the co-founder and president of the video game developer and digital distribution company, Valve. As a young man, he worked for Microsoft for several years before he quit to found his own venture. He was inducted into the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame in 2013.

 14 
Donald Knuth
(Mathematician and Computer Scientist Known for His Multivolume Series of Books “The Art of Computer Programming”)

Donald Knuth
9
Birthdate: January 10, 1938
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States

Mathematician and computer scientist Donald Ervin Knuth is best known for his contribution to the development of the rigorous analysis of the computational complexity of algorithms. Also the creator of the TeX computer typesetting system as well as the WEB and CWEB computer programming systems, he has published twenty books, most significant among them being The Art of Computer Programming.

 15 
Margaret Hamilton
(Computer Scientist)

Margaret Hamilton
10
Birthdate: August 17, 1936
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paoli, Indiana, United States

Credited with coining the term software engineering, computer scientist and systems engineer, Margaret Heafield Hamilton served as the Director of the Software Engineering Division of the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory, overseeing the development of the on-board flight software for NASA's Apollo program.  A prolific writer, she is also the founder of two software companies; Higher Order Software and Hamilton Technologies.

 16 
Richard Stallman
(Software Programmer)

Richard Stallman
11
Birthdate: March 16, 1953
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City

Computer programmer and free-software activist Richard Stallman established the Free Software Foundation. The Harvard and MIT alumnus led the free GNU project, aimed at creating a UNIX-like operating system. He was later dragged into a controversy when he dismissed a sexual assault victim’s allegation against Jeffrey Epstein.

 17 
Guido van Rossum
(Creator of the Python programming language)

Guido van Rossum
11
Birthdate: January 31, 1956
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Haarlem, Netherlands
Dutch programmer Guido van Rossum is known as the inventor of the Python programming language. He has also worked with Google and Dropbox earlier. In November 2020, he announced he announced his decision to join the Developer Division of Microsoft. He has won several honors, such as the NLUUG Award.

 18 
John Carmack
(Chief technology officer, Aerospace engineer, Programmer, Computer scientist)

John Carmack
9
Birthdate: August 20, 1970
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kansas City

Computer-game developer John Carmack introduced pioneering innovations in the 3-D game arena. He specializes in first-person shooter games, such as Quake and Doom. The id Software founder had spent a year in a juvenile home and had later dropped out of university to become a freelance programmer.

 19 
Leslie Lamport
(Mathematician, Computer scientist, Programmer, Engineer, Writer)

Leslie Lamport
3
Birthdate: February 7, 1941
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York City

 20 
Pavel Durov
(French entrepreneur who is best known for being the founder of the social networking site VK and later of Telegram Messenger)

Pavel Durov
4
Birthdate: October 10, 1984
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia

 21 
Bill Gates
(Co-Founder of Microssoft)

Bill Gates
18
Birthdate: October 28, 1955
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington, United States

Leading American technologist, business leader and philanthropist, Bill Gates is the co-founder of the world’s largest software company, Microsoft. His passion for computers made him one of the richest in the world and through his charity foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, he and his ex-wife, Melinda, use this money generously to help people world over live a better life.

 22 
Andy Hertzfeld
(Computer scientist, Engineer, Programmer)

Andy Hertzfeld
5
Birthdate: April 6, 1953
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Philadelphia

Andy Hertzfeld is an innovator and software engineer. During the 1980s, Hertzfeld was one of the members of the Apple Macintosh development team. He is also credited with co-founding companies like Radius, General Magic, and Eazel. From 2005 to 2013, he contributed to the development of Google+. Elden Henson and Michael Stuhlbarg portrayed him in Jobs and Steve Jobs respectively.

 23 
Shawn Fanning
(Computer scientist, Programmer)

Shawn Fanning
5
Birthdate: November 22, 1980
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Brockton

Computer programmer and entrepreneur Shawn Fanning revolutionized the world of information technology by developing a program that let users share MP3 copies of music from their personal computers with others on the internet. His invention led to the formation of Napster and got him featured on the cover of Time.

 24 
Niklaus Wirth
(Computer Scientist)

Niklaus Wirth
3
Birthdate: February 15, 1934
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Winterthur, Switzerland

Turing Award-winning Swiss computer scientist Niklaus Wirth revolutionized information technology with his invention of computer languages such as ALGOL-W, PASCAL, and MODULA. He has also taught at Stanford and ETH Zürich and penned a number of books on algorithms and data structures. He has also popularized Wirth's law.

 25 
Geoffrey Hinton
(Computer scientist)

Geoffrey Hinton
7
Birthdate: December 6, 1947
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Wimbledon

After gaining a degree in psychology, Geoffrey Hinton earned a PhD in artificial intelligence. The Google VP is a Turing Award-winning computer scientist and also teaches at the University of Toronto. A Fellow of the Royal Society, he has revolutionized neural network research and has co-written about 200 papers.

 26 
Adi Shamir
(Mathematician, Cryptologist, Computer scientist)

Adi Shamir
5
Birthdate: July 6, 1952
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tel Aviv

Turing Award-winning Israeli cryptographer Adi Shamir is one of the co-inventors of RSA encryption. He also owns patents to more than a dozen more inventions. He has been associated with the University of Warwick and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and has also taught at the Weizmann Institute.

 27 
Andy Rubin
(Computer programmer)

Andy Rubin
8
Birthdate: 1963 AD
Birthplace: Chappaqua, New York, United States

Andy Rubin earned the nickname Android during his time at Apple due to his obsession with robots and later co-founded Android Inc., becoming its CEO. He worked with Google for 9 years but quit the company amid sexual harassment allegations and an employee walk-out over his supposed exit package.

 28 
Douglas Hofstadter
(Philosopher, Writer, University teacher, Computer scientist)

Douglas Hofstadter
3
Birthdate: February 15, 1945
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York City

 29 
David Filo
(Entrepreneur, Businessperson, Merchant, Computer scientist)

David Filo
5
Birthdate: April 20, 1966
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Wisconsin

 30 
Sophie Wilson
(computer scientist)

Sophie Wilson
7
Birthdate: 1957 AD
Birthplace: Leeds

The brain behind the Acorn Micro-Computer, Sophie Wilson also contributed to the BBC Micro and ARM architecture. During her first summer vacation at Cambridge, she designed an automated cow-feeder. Born Roger Wilson, she went through a sex-change surgery in 1994. She is also associated with local theater groups.

 31 
Ed Boon
(Programmer, Engineer, Screenwriter, Computer scientist)

Ed Boon
5
Birthdate: February 22, 1964
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chicago

 32 
Walter O'Brien
(Business Person)

Walter O'Brien
15
Birthdate: February 24, 1975
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: County Wexford, Ireland

Irish IT expert and entrepreneur Walter O'Brien produced the CBS action-drama TV series Scorpion, which was inspired by his life. It is believed he established Scorpion Computer Services at age 13 and had an IQ of 197 as a child, though many such claims by him remain unproved.

 33 
Nick Szabo
(Computer scientist)

Nick Szabo
5
Birthdate: 1970 AD
Birthplace: america

 34 
Ivan Sutherland
(Computer scientist)

Ivan Sutherland
4
Birthdate: May 16, 1938
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hastings, Nebraska, United States

 35 
Sergey Brin
(Co-founder of Google)

Sergey Brin
16
Birthdate: August 21, 1973
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Google co-founder Sergey Brin also served as the president of Alphabet Inc. The seventh-richest person in the world as of 2020, Brin earlier dropped his PhD plans at Stanford, following which he and Larry Page launched Google in a garage. He is a devoted philanthropist and a Democratic Party donor.

 36 
Clive Sinclair
(Entrepreneur, Engineer, Inventor, Computer scientist)

Clive Sinclair
5
Birthdate: July 30, 1940
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Surrey

A consumer electronics pioneer, entrepreneur Clive Sinclair began his business venture selling radio and amplifier kits. He went on to launch the word’s first pocket calculator and later also worked on products such as digital watches and pocket TV. He is a fan of poker and is a Mensa member.

 37 
Lawrence Lessig
(Jurist, Activist, Lawyer, Non-fiction writer, Computer scientist, Politician, Professor)

Lawrence Lessig
11
Birthdate: June 3, 1961
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Rapid City

Harvard Law School professor Lawrence Lessig established Creative Commons, a non-profit geared at reducing copyright restrictions, thus helping artists and creative professional share their works legally. A Democrat, he also co-founded Rootstrikers, aimed at combating corruption in Congress. He is also a TED speaker and has penned books such as Lesterland.

 38 
Chris Metzen
(Artist, Comics artist, Novelist, Writer, Screenwriter, Voice actor, Visual artist, Author, Computer scientist, Science fiction writer)

Chris Metzen
3
Birthdate: November 22, 1973
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: United States of America

 39 
Whitfield Diffie
(Cryptographer and one of the pioneers of public-key cryptography along with Martin Hellman and Ralph Merkle)

Whitfield Diffie
2
Birthdate: June 5, 1944
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States

 40 
James H. Clark
(Computer scientist)

James H. Clark
5
Birthdate: March 23, 1944
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Plainview, Texas, United States

 41 
Paul Buchheit
(Creator and Lead Developer of 'Gmail', Google’s Web-Based Email System)

Paul Buchheit
9
Birthdate: November 7, 1977
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Webster, New York, United States

Paul Buchheit is an American entrepreneur and computer engineer. He is credited with creating Gmail and developing a prototype of Google AdSense. In 2007, he launched FriendFeed, which was later acquired by Facebook. In 2011, Paul Buchheit was honored with the Economist Innovation Award. Also a noted philanthropist, Paul Buchheit has made donations to several health organizations.

 42 
Gottfrid Svartholm
(Computer scientist)

Gottfrid Svartholm
15
Birthdate: October 17, 1984
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Sweden

Gottfrid Svartholm is a Swedish computer specialist best known as the ex-co-owner of the web hosting company and Internet service provider PRQ. He is also credited with co-founding The Pirate Bay along with Peter Sunde and Fredrik Neij. In 2014, Gottfrid Svartholm was imprisoned for his connection with WikiLeaks and released the following year.

 43 
George Hotz
(Blogger, Programmer, Computer scientist)

George Hotz
9
Birthdate: October 2, 1989
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Glen Rock, New Jersey

Known online as Geohot, George Francis Hotz is an American security hacker and software engineer, who at the age of seventeen became the first person to hack Apple’s iPhone. Later, he developed iOS jailbreaks and became the first person to crack a defense system in Sony PlayStation 3. Currently, he is working at comma.ai, a startup he founded in 2015.

 44 
Fredrik Neij
(Engineer, Computer scientist)

Fredrik Neij
20
Birthdate: April 27, 1978
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Jönköping

One of the co-founders of the torrent site The Pirate Bay, Fredrik Neij created headlines after being charged with copyright infringement. He spent 10 months in a prison in Skänninge, Sweden. After his release, he decided to set up base in Laos and work in the IT sector.

 45 
Jaron Lanier
(Computer scientist, Composer)

Jaron Lanier
31
Birthdate: May 3, 1960
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

 46 
Sudha Murty
(Author)

Sudha Murty
3
Birthdate: August 19, 1950
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Shiggaon, Haveri, Karnataka, India

Known for her humility and simplicity, Indian philanthropist and author Sudha Murty had humble beginnings as a TELCO engineer. She is married to Infosys co-founder Narayan Murty and heads the Infosys Foundation. The Padma Shri winner has penned over 200 titles, such as Dollar Bahu, in both Kannada and English.

 47 
Hans Reiser
(Programmer, Entrepreneur, Computer scientist, Homicide)

Hans Reiser
3
Birthdate: December 19, 1963
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: California

 48 
Edwin Catmull
(Computer scientist, Engineer)

Edwin Catmull
3
Birthdate: March 31, 1945
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Parkersburg

 49 
Edmund McMillen
(Video game developer, Computer scientist)

Edmund McMillen
3
Birthdate: March 2, 1980
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Santa Cruz

 50 
Bill Joy
(Computer scientist, co-founded Sun Microsystems)

Bill Joy
3
Birthdate: November 8, 1954
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Farmington Hills, Michigan, United States