Honorary Doctors

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2013

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Honorary Doctor Noga Alon

Prof. Noga Alon

Noga Alon is a Baumritter Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science in Tel Aviv University, Israel. He has made several seminal contributions in the areas of combinatorics and theoretical computer science. In particular, he is famous for developing the probabilistic method, which is now among the most powerful tools in these fields. His book with J. Spencer is considered the ultimate reference on the topic. With Matias and Szegedy he initiated the study of algorithms on large data streams. This, also with view on big data, very timely work was awarded the Gödel-Preis in 2005. In 1998 he solved an open problem on channel capacity posed by Shannon in 1965 and he also proved the combinatorial Nullstellensatz, which is now known as polynomial method and an important tool in graph theory, combinatorics, and number theory.
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Honorary doctor Eric Brewer

Prof. Eric A. Brewer

Eric Brewer is a professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley. His pioneering work has influenced the design and architecture of all modern large distributed systems including large scale search engines, cloud computing, and big data systems. In particular, he is well-known for the now-famous CAP theorem, which explains fundamental limitations of certain system aspects but also opens up a rich design space in its wake. As former co-founder and chief scientist at Inktomi Corporation, he started the Federal Search Foundation which is recognized as having built the “USA.gov” portal for the American government in 2000. His current work focuses on (high) technology for developing regions, with projects in India, Ghana, and Uganda among others. Eric A. Brewer received the ACM Mark Weiser award (2009) and was named "Global Leader for Tomorrow” by the World Economic Forum. InfoWorld and Technology Review considered him as one of the top ten innovators and as one of the top 100 most influential people of the 21st century respectively.
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2010

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Honorary doctor Charles Bennett

Dr. Charles H. Bennett

Charles Henry Bennett is an IBM Fellow at IBM Research, Yorktown Heights. He is well-known for his work re-examining the physical basis of information, applying quantum physics to the problems surrounding information exchange. Bennett has played a major role in elucidating the interconnections between physics and information, particularly in the realm of quantum computation, but also in cellular automata and reversible computing. With Gilles Brassard, he discovered the concept of quantum cryptography and is one of the founding fathers of modern quantum information theory.
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Honorary doctor Gilles Brassard

Prof. Gilles Brassard

Gilles Brassard is a Professor at the Université de Montréal. He laid the foundations of quantum cryptography at a time when only a handful of people worldwide were interested in quantum information processing. Quantum cryptography makes it possible to communicate in perfect secrecy with no need to establish a shared secret key. Among his many other achievements are the invention of privacy amplification, quantum teleportation, quantum entanglement distillation, and amplitude amplification.
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2008

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Honorary doctor Andries van Dam

Prof. Andries van Dam

Andries van Dam’s research focuses on computer graphics, hypermedia systems, post-WIMP user interfaces such as pen-centric computing, and educational software. He has been working for over four decades on systems for creating and reading electronic books with interactive illustrations for use in teaching and research. Van Dam is most known for building the first hypertext system, HES, in the late 1960s. With this system he was an early proponent of the use of hypertext in the humanities and pedagogy. His continued interest in hypertext was crucial to the development of modern markup and browsing technology.
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2007

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Honorary doctor Hector Garcia-Molina

Prof. Hector Garcia-Molina

Hector Garcia-Molina is a pioneer and one of the leading researchers in the fields of distributed computing and information systems, significantly impacting the foundations of the whole discipline of computer science. In the 1980s, he studied transactional models for distributed information systems, devised ways to implement transactional properties in a distributed system, and proposed consistency models for replicated data. He has also made fundamental contributions to the field of data integration, and has devised a state-of-the-art framework for entity resolution. Garcia-Molina has also worked on Internet technologies, and his group developed the first system to detect Spam.
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2006

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Honorary doctor Eugene Myers

Prof. Eugene W. Myers

Eugene Wimberly Myers’ research interests include the design and analysis of algorithms for problems in computational molecular biology, discrete pattern matching, and computer graphics. He is best known for the development of BLAST - the most widely used tool in bioinformatics - and for the algorithms underlying the whole genome shotgun sequencing protocol which he developed at Celera Corporation. These algorithms proved to be the keys for decoding the human, fly, and mouse genomes over a three year period. He also works on methods to automatically infer the architecture and function of the brain from imaging data.
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2005

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Honorary doctor Donald Knuth

Prof. Donald E. Knuth

Donald Ervin Knuth has been called the father of the analysis of algorithms. He is best known as the author of the multi-volume “The Art of Computer Programming”, the earliest and one of the most highly respected reference texts in computer science. Knuth systematized formal mathematical techniques for algorithm analysis, shaped the field of rigorous analysis of the computational complexity of algorithms, and made seminal contributions to several branches of theoretical computer science. In addition to his fundamental theoretical contributions, Knuth is the creator of the well-known TeX computer typesetting system. He was awarded the singular academic title of Professor Emeritus of the Art of Computer Programming. In 1971, Knuth was the recipient of the first ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award and has received numerous other awards, including the ACM Turing Award in 1974.
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Honorary doctor Barbara Liskov

Prof. Barbara H. Liskov

Barbara Liskov has made numerous important contributions to the theory and practice of programming and distributed computing. Her pioneering work on data abstraction in the 1970s in the CLU programming language showed how abstract data types allow one to organize complex systems on the basis of the types of objects they manipulate. Furthermore, she provided the foundation for today’s object-oriented programming languages and has made several fundamental contributions to distributed and fault-tolerant computing. Barbara Liskov received the ACM Turing Award in 2008.
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2002

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Honorary doctor Richard Karp

Prof. Richard M. Karp

Richard Manning Karp’s research activities focus on the theory of algorithms: the development of efficient algorithms for network flow and other combinatorial optimization problems, the identification of polynomial-time computability with the intuitive notion of algorithmic efficiency, and, most notably, the theory of NP-completeness. Beyond this, he has helped shape such areas as parallel algorithms, probabilistic analysis of algorithms, and randomized algorithms. Richard Karp received the ACM Turing Award in 1985.
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2000

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Honorary doctor Ole Dahl

Dr. Ole-Johan Dahl

Ole-Johan Dahl (1931–2002) was co-creator of the first object-oriented programming language, SIMULA, with his longtime colleague Kristen Nygaard. Dahl and Nygaard were the first to develop the concepts of class, subclass (allowing information hiding), inheritance, and dynamic object creation – all important aspects of the object-oriented paradigm. Their work led to a fundamental change in how software systems are designed and programmed, resulting in reusable, reliable, and scalable applications that have facilitated and streamlined the process of writing software. Their concepts, developed in the mid-1960s, still influence today’s object-oriented programming languages like C++, Java, Eiffel, and C#, used in programming a wide range of applications from large-scale distributed systems to small, personal applications. Dahl and Nygaard shared the ACM Turing Award in 2001 and the IEEE John von Neumann Medal in 2002.
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1998

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Honorary doctor Vinton Cerf

Prof. Vinton G. Cerf

Vinton Gray Cerf is widely recognized, alongside Robert E. Kahn, as one of "the fathers of the Internet": they devised the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the Internet Protocol (IP), the basic communication mechanisms for much of the Internet. In the 1970s Cerf served as a program manager for the United States Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). With the commercial growth of the Internet in the late 1980s, he moved to MCI Worldcom and led the development of the first commercial e-mail service to be connected to the Internet. Among other acknowledgements for his contributions, Cerf received the 2004 ACM Turing Award with Robert Kahn. In 1997, President Bill Clinton presented Cerf and Kahn with the National Medal of Technology, and in 2005 President George Bush awarded them the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
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Honorary doctor Robert Kahn

Dr. Robert E. Kahn

Robert Elliot Kahn was responsible at Bolt, Beranek and Newman for the system design of the Arpanet. In the 1970s Kahn served at the United States Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and initiated the U.S. Strategic Computing Program. With Vinton Cerf, Kahn invented the Internet’s TCP/IP protocols. He also coined the term National Information Infrastructure (NII) in the mid-1980s (later known as the Information Super Highway). Robert Kahn has received numerous awards for his work on the Internet, including the Turing Award (with Vinton Cerf, 2004) and the Charles Stark Draper prize of the National Academy of Engineering. In 1997 President Bill Clinton presented Cerf and Kahn with the National Medal of Technology, and in 2005 President George Bush awarded them the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
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1997

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Honorary doctor Christos Papadimitriou

Prof. Christos H. Papadimitriou

Christos Harilaos Papadimitriou is a leading international expert in theoretical computer science. His books, "Elements of the Theory of Computation", "Computational Complexity", and "Combinatorial Optimization: Algorithms and Complexity", are the standard textbooks in their areas. He has also worked in such areas as the economics of the programming market, the complexity of the Web, and quantum computing. In addition to his scientific pursuits, Papadimitriou wrote a novel, “Turing”, a romance and history of ideas in computer science. For his groundbreaking work in computational complexity and algorithmic game theory, Papadimitriou has been awarded numerous distinctions, among them the Knuth Prize and Charles Babbage Prize. He was inducted as a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery and of the US National Academy of Engineering.
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1996

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Honorary doctor Charles Thacker

Prof. Charles P. Thacker

For over 35 years, Charles Patrick Thacker has led innovation in the area of distributed personal computing. He is one of the primary forces behind the introduction of the modern-day PC. While working at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center as a research fellow from 1970 to 1983, he served as the principal designer for the Alto personal computer system, widely considered the prototype for both workstations and windowed personal computers. Additionally, he revolutionized the computing industry as one of the co-inventors of the Ethernet local area network. Since 1997, he has held the position of Technical Fellow at Microsoft Corporation, where he designed and implemented major parts of the prototype for the Tablet PC, including portions of its handwriting-recognition system. In 2004, he won the Charles Stark Draper Prize of the United States National Academy of Engineering, along with Alan C. Kay, Butler W. Lampson and Robert W. Taylor, for development of the first networked distributed personal computer system. In 2009, ACM honored Charles Thacker with the Turing Award.
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1991

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Honorary doctor Konrad Zuse

Prof. Konrad Zuse

Konrad Zuse (1910-1995) designed and built some of the world’s first digital computers. His first machine, finished in 1938 and later called Z1, was a mechanical calculator using binary floating point arithmetic, reading program instructions from a perforated 35 mm film. The Z2 (1939) was an electromechanical version of the Z1 using 800 telephone relays. Improving on the Z2, in 1941 Zuse built the Z3, the first fully operational electromechanical digital computer, featuring programmability with loops (though without conditional jumps) and structured much like a modern computer, with a control unit, a floating-point arithmetic unit, and input/output devices. Zuse began constructing his next model, the Z4, in 1942, but could only complete it after the war, also adding a conditional branch facility. In 1949, the machine was acquired by the ETH Institute for Applied Mathematics, and was the only working digital computer in continental Europe at the time. Between 1945 and 1948, Konrad Zuse accomplished another extraordinary achievement - realizing that programming in machine code was too complicated, he designed "Plankalkuel", the first algorithmic programming language.
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Honorary doctor Frederick Brooks

Prof. Frederick P. Brooks, Jr.

In 1956, Frederick Phillips Brooks joined IBM where he worked on the architecture of the IBM 7030 Stretch, a supercomputer delivered to Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1961. Brooks is best-known for managing the development of IBM’s System/360 family of computers and then of the Operating System/360 software, during which he coined the term “computer architecture”. His System/360 team was the first to achieve strict compatibility, upward and downward, in a computer family. Brooks later distilled the successes and failures of the development of OS/360 in his seminal book “The Mythical Man-Month: Essays in Software Engineering” (1975). For his “landmark contributions to computer architecture, operating systems, and software engineering”, Frederick Brooks received the ACM Turing Award in 1999.
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1986

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Honorary doctor Butler Lampson

Dr. Butler W. Lampson

Butler Wright Lampson was one of the founding members of Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) in 1970. His now famous vision of a personal computer was captured in the 1972 memo entitled "Why Alto?" In 1973, the Xerox Alto, with its three-button mouse and full-page-sized monitor was born. For his work on the Alto he received the ACM Software Systems Award in 1984 and the IEEE Computer Pioneer award in 1996. In 1992 he was honored with the ACM Turing Award for "contributions to the development of distributed, personal computing environments and the technology for their implementation: workstations, networks, operating systems, programming systems, displays, security and document publishing."
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Honorary doctor David Parnas

Dr. David L. Parnas

David Lorge Parnas is an early pioneer of software engineering who helped establish software development as an engineering discipline firmly rooted in mathematics. Among other things, he advocated the principle of modular design in software and developed the concept of information hiding, a core principle of modern software technology applied in most modern programming languages. He is also noted for his work on documenting large, complex software systems. In his teaching, as well as in his research, he has always sought to find a “middle road” between theory and practice, emphasizing the identification of theoretical results and notations that can be applied to improve the quality of software products.
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Honorary doctor Ambros Speiser

Prof. Ambros P. Speiser

Ambros Paul Speiser (1922–2003) was an early pioneer of digital computer design, as well as an insightful initiator and staunch supporter of scientific research. He was the leading hardware designer for the construction of the ERMETH computer built at ETH Zurich between 1950 and 1955. In 1956, IBM chose him to establish and lead its Zurich Research Laboratory. Ten years later, Brown Boveri & Company (now ABB) asked him to found its corporate research laboratory, which he directed until his retirement in 1987. In his lifetime he was not only a researcher with the highest aspirations, but also nationally and internationally active in scientific organizations and - particularly after his retirement - an articulate and respected scientific journalist.
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24.03.2017
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