Computer Scientists

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Computer scientists specialize in the scientific study of computation and computer technology, hardware and software. They work in the field of computer science, i.e. the study of the theoretical and practical aspects of computing and computers. Computer scientists work alongside with other research professionals like computer programmers, information technology specialists, electrical engineers, etc. in order to develop new computer technology and design hardware and software. Their research helps to improve the performance of existing computer systems. The field of theoretical computer science deals with the theory of computation and other topics focused on logical, mathematical and abstract aspects of computing. Applied computer science, on the other hand, deals with issues like Artificial Intelligence, computer graphics, and computer security which can be put to practical use in real-life situations. Computer scientists may work in software development that involves designing of games, search engines, operating systems and web browsers. Those who work on computer hardware are dedicated to the development of higher processing speed. Some computer scientists work with engineers to design robotics that are used in the manufacturing sector. These professionals also teach in universities or work with government agencies. What follows is a collection of the biographies, timelines, trivia and other information about the professional and personal lives of some of the world’s most famous computer scientists.
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 1 
Alan Turing
(Father of Theoretical Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence)
Alan Turing
58
Birthdate: June 23, 1912
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Maida Vale, London, England
Died: June 7, 1954

Regarded as the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, Alan Turing was a distinguished mathematician and logician. During WWII, he successfully broke the challenging German Enigma machine codes thereby reducing the duration of war by a couple of years. The scientist, who was convicted for being gay, has been an inspiration for numerous films, plays and novels.

 2 
Steve Wozniak
(Co-Founder of Apple Inc.)
Steve Wozniak
14
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.

 3 
Tim Berners-Lee
(Inventor of the World Wide Web)
Tim Berners-Lee
32
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.

 4 
Charles Babbage
(Father of the computer)
Charles Babbage
10
Birthdate: December 26, 1791
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, England
Died: October 18, 1871
Charles Babbage, or the “father of the computer,” invented the prototype of the world’s first mechanical calculator, the Difference Engine. With the help of mathematician Ada Lovelace, he also created the Analytical Engine, the first general-purpose computer and a precursor of the modern computer, with its looping and sequential mechanism.
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 5 
Grace Hopper
(Computer Scientist, Mathematician and One of the First Programmers of the ‘Harvard Mark I’ Computer)
Grace Hopper
31
Birthdate: December 9, 1906
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: January 1, 1992
Computer scientist and U.S. Navy rear admiral Grace Hopper was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computing system. She pioneered the machine-independent programming language technique, and the FLOW-MATIC language used by her was later used to create COBOL. She received a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom.
 6 
Claude Shannon
(Mathematician, Engineer & Cryptographer Known as a 'Father of Information Theory')
Claude Shannon
10
Birthdate: April 30, 1916
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Petoskey, Michigan, United States
Died: February 24, 2001

Claude Shannon was an electrical engineer, mathematician, and cryptographer. He is credited with publishing the article A Mathematical Theory of Communication which gave rise to the field of information theory. Hence, Shannon is considered the father of information theory. He is also credited with founding digital circuit design theory. During World War II, he contributed to the field of cryptanalysis.

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 7 
Vint Cerf
(Computer scientist)
Vint Cerf
12
Birthdate: June 23, 1943
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New Haven, Connecticut, United States
 8 
Ken Thompson
(Computer Scientist)
Ken Thompson
6
Birthdate: February 4, 1943
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
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 9 
Dennis Ritchie
(Computer Scientist)
Dennis Ritchie
17
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.

 10 
John McCarthy
(Mathematician, Computer scientist, Engineer, University teacher)
John McCarthy
11
Birthdate: September 4, 1927
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Boston
Died: October 24, 2011
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 11 
Marvin Minsky
(Mathematician, Computer scientist, University teacher)
Marvin Minsky
13
Birthdate: August 9, 1927
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York City
Died: January 24, 2016
 12 
Shigeru Miyamoto
(Video Game Designer, Artist)
Shigeru Miyamoto
33
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.
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 13 
Jawed Karim
(Co-Founder of 'YouTube' and the First Person to Upload a Video to the Site)
Jawed Karim
8
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.

 14 
Alan Kay
(Computer Scientist)
Alan Kay
13
Birthdate: May 17, 1940
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Springfield, Massachusetts
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 15 
John von Neumann
(Great Mathematician Who Were Equally at Home in Pure and Applied Mathematics)
John von Neumann
12
Birthdate: December 28, 1903
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: February 8, 1957
Hungarian-American scientist John von Neumann contributed to the development of game theory and the concept of self-replication. His work covered vast areas including math, economics, physics, and computer science. His research on nuclear physics led him to be part of the advisory committee of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.
 16 
James Gosling
(Programmer, Inventor, Computer scientist)
James Gosling
15
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.

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 17 
Tony Hoare
(Computer scientist)
Tony Hoare
11
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.

 18 
Bjarne Stroustrup
(Computer scientist, Engineer, Scientist, Programmer, Writer, University teacher)
Bjarne Stroustrup
15
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. 

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 19 
Margaret Hamilton
(American Computer Scientist, Systems Engineer, and Business Owner)
Margaret Hamilton
12
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.

 20 
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.

 21 
Leslie Lamport
(Mathematician, Computer scientist, Programmer, Engineer, Writer)
Leslie Lamport
3
Birthdate: February 7, 1941
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York City
 22 
Richard Stallman
(Software Programmer)
Richard Stallman
13
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.

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 23 
Donald Knuth
(Mathematician and Computer Scientist Known for His Multivolume Series of Books “The Art of Computer Programming”)
Donald Knuth
11
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.

 24 
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.

 25 
Judea Pearl
(Computer Scientist)
Judea Pearl
5
Birthdate: September 4, 1936
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tel Aviv, Israel

A.M. Turing Award-winning Israeli-American computer scientist Judea Pearl is known for his work on artificial intelligence and for creating the Bayesian network. He has penned several books on causality, too. He is also known as the father of Daniel Pearl, the journalist who was beheaded by Islamic terrorists in Pakistan.

 26 
Gabe Newell
(Entrepreneur)
Gabe Newell
21
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.

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 27 
Vitalik Buterin
(Computer scientist)
Vitalik Buterin
21
Birthdate: January 31, 1994
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kolomna, Russia
 28 
George Dantzig
(Mathematician, Computer scientist, Statistician)
George Dantzig
6
Birthdate: November 8, 1914
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon, United States
Died: May 13, 2005

Mathematician George Dantzig, known for his research on linear programming, was the first to develop the simplex method. The National Medal of Science winner was the son of mathematician and linguist Tobias Dantzig. He was associated with RAND Corporation and also taught computer science and operations research at Stanford.

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 29 
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
6
Birthdate: October 10, 1984
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
 30 
Niklaus Wirth
(Swiss 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.

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 31 
Edsger W. Dijkstra
(Dutch Mathematician and Computer Scientist Best Known for His Shortest-Path Algorithm in Graph Theory)
Edsger W. Dijkstra
8
Birthdate: May 11, 1930
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Rotterdam, Netherlands
Died: August 6, 2002

A pioneering computer scientist from the Netherlands, Edsger W. Dijkstra had initially studied theoretical physics, before focusing on computers. He developed the domain of structured programming and also won honors such as the Turing Award. He died at 72, after a long struggle with cancer.

 32 
Guido van Rossum
(Dutch Programmer Known for Creating the 'Python' Programming Language)
Guido van Rossum
15
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.
 33 
Alonzo Church
(Mathematician, Philosopher, University teacher, Computer scientist)
Alonzo Church
3
Birthdate: June 14, 1903
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Washington, D.C.
Died: August 11, 1995
 34 
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.

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 35 
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.

 36 
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.

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 37 
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.

 38 
David Filo
(Entrepreneur, Businessperson, Merchant, Computer scientist)
David Filo
5
Birthdate: April 20, 1966
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Wisconsin
 39 
Walter O'Brien
(Irish Businessman and Information Technologist Who Was the Loose Inspiration of the TV Series 'Scorpion')
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.

 40 
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.

 41 
Douglas Hofstadter
(Philosopher, Writer, University teacher, Computer scientist)
Douglas Hofstadter
3
Birthdate: February 15, 1945
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York City
 42 
Barbara Liskov
(Computer scientist)
Barbara Liskov
4
Birthdate: November 7, 1939
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
 43 
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.

 44 
Ed Boon
(Programmer, Engineer, Screenwriter, Computer scientist)
Ed Boon
5
Birthdate: February 22, 1964
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chicago
 45 
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
 46 
Ivan Sutherland
(Computer scientist)
Ivan Sutherland
4
Birthdate: May 16, 1938
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hastings, Nebraska, United States
 47 
Alexey Pazhitnov
(Video game designer)
Alexey Pazhitnov
3
Birthdate: March 14, 1956
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Moscow
 48 
Mark Shuttleworth
(Entrepreneur, Astronaut, Engineer, Inventor, Scientist, Blogger, Businessperson, Computer scientist)
Mark Shuttleworth
7
Birthdate: September 18, 1973
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Welkom

Mark Shuttleworth is a South African-British entrepreneur. He is credited with founding Canonical, the company that developed the popular Linux-based Ubuntu operating system. Mark Shuttleworth became the first African from an independent country and the first South African to travel to space; he traveled as a space tourist in 2002.

 49 
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.

 50 
David Packard
(Entrepreneur, Engineer, Computer scientist)
David Packard
3
Birthdate: September 7, 1912
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Pueblo
Died: March 26, 1996