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Donald Ervin Knuth

Donald Knuth at a reception for the Open Content Alliance, October 25, 2005
Born January 10, 1938 (1938-01-10) (age 72)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
Residence U.S.
Nationality American
Fields Computer science
Institutions Stanford University
Alma mater Case Institute of Technology
California Institute of Technology
Doctoral advisor Marshall Hall, Jr.
Doctoral students Leonidas J. Guibas
Scott Kim
Vaughan Pratt
Robert Sedgewick
Jeffrey Vitter
Bernard Marcel Mont-Reynaud
Known for The Art of Computer Programming
TeX, METAFONT
Knuth–Morris–Pratt algorithm
Knuth–Bendix completion algorithm
MMIX
Notable awards Turing Award (1974)
John von Neumann Medal (1995)
Harvey Prize (1995)
Kyoto Prize (1996)

Donald Ervin Knuth (pronounced /kəˈnuːθ/[1]) (born January 10, 1938) is a renowned computer scientist and Professor Emeritus of the Art of Computer Programming at Stanford University.[2]

Author of the seminal multi-volume work The Art of Computer Programming ("TAOCP"),[3] Knuth has been called the "father" of the analysis of algorithms, contributing to the development of, and systematizing formal mathematical techniques for, the rigorous analysis of the computational complexity of algorithms, and in the process popularizing asymptotic notation.

In addition to fundamental contributions in several branches of theoretical computer science, Knuth is the creator of the TeX computer typesetting system, the related METAFONT font definition language and rendering system, and the Computer Modern family of typefaces.

A writer and scholar,[4] Knuth created the WEB/CWEB computer programming systems designed to encourage and facilitate literate programming, and designed the MMIX instruction set architecture.

Contents

Education and academic work

Knuth was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where his father owned a small printing business and taught bookkeeping at Milwaukee Lutheran High School, which he attended. He was an excellent student, earning achievement awards. He applied his intelligence in unconventional ways, winning a contest when he was in eighth grade by finding over 4,500 words that could be formed from the letters in "Ziegler's Giant Bar." The judges had only about 2,500 words on their master list. This won him a television set for his school and a candy bar for everyone in his class.[5]

Knuth had a difficult time choosing physics over music as his major at Case Institute of Technology (now part of Case Western Reserve University). He also joined Theta Chi Fraternity. He then switched from physics to mathematics, and in 1960 he received his bachelor of science degree, simultaneously receiving his master of science degree by a special award of the faculty who considered his work outstanding. At Case, he managed the basketball team and applied his talents by constructing a formula for the value of each player. This novel approach was covered by Newsweek and by Walter Cronkite on the CBS television network.[6]

While doing graduate studies, Knuth worked as a consultant, writing compilers for different computers. In 1963, he earned a Ph.D. in mathematics (advisor: Marshall Hall) from the California Institute of Technology, where he became a professor and began work on The Art of Computer Programming, originally planned to be a single book, and then planned as a six, and then seven-volume series. In 1968, he published the first volume. That same year, he joined the faculty of Stanford University, having turned down a job offer from the National Security Agency (NSA).

In 1971, Knuth was the recipient of the first ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award. He has received various other awards including the Turing Award, the National Medal of Science, the John von Neumann Medal and the Kyoto Prize. After producing the third volume of his series in 1976, he expressed such frustration with the nascent state of the then newly developed electronic publishing tools (esp. those which provided input to phototypesetters) that he took time out to work on typesetting and created the TeX and METAFONT tools.

In recognition of Knuth's contributions to the field of computer science, in 1990 he was awarded the one-of-a-kind academic title of Professor of The Art of Computer Programming, which has since been revised to Professor Emeritus of The Art of Computer Programming.

In 1992 he became an associate of the French Academy of Sciences. Also that year, he retired from regular research and teaching at Stanford University in order to finish The Art of Computer Programming. In 2003 he was elected as a foreign member of the Royal Society. As of 2004, the first three volumes of his series have been re-issued, and Knuth is currently working on volume four, excerpts of which are released periodically on his website.[7] Meanwhile, Knuth gives informal lectures a few times a year at Stanford University, which he calls Computer Musings. He is also a visiting professor at the Oxford University Computing Laboratory in the United Kingdom.

In addition to his writings on computer science, Knuth, a devout Lutheran,[8] is also the author of 3:16 Bible Texts Illuminated (1991), ISBN 0-89579-252-4, in which he attempts to examine the Bible by a process of systematic sampling, namely an analysis of chapter 3, verse 16 of each book. Each verse is accompanied by a rendering in calligraphic art, contributed by a group of calligraphers under the leadership of Hermann Zapf.

He is also the author of Surreal Numbers (1974) ISBN 0-201-03812-9, a mathematical novelette on John Conway's set theory construction of an alternate system of numbers. Instead of simply explaining the subject, the book seeks to show the development of the mathematics. Knuth wanted the book to prepare students for doing original, creative research.

On January 1, 1990, Knuth announced to his colleagues that he would no longer have an e-mail address, so that he might concentrate on his work.[9]

In 2006, Knuth was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He underwent surgery in December that year and started "a little bit of radiation therapy [...] as a precaution but the prognosis looks pretty good," as he reported in his video autobiography.[10]

Knuth was elected as a Fellow (first class of Fellows) of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics in 2009 for his outstanding contributions to mathematics.

Awards

Knuth’s humor

Knuth is known for his "professional humor".

  • He used to pay a finder’s fee of $2.56 for any typographical errors or mistakes discovered in his books, because “256 pennies is one hexadecimal dollar”, and $0.32 for “valuable suggestions”. (His bounty for errata in 3:16 Bible Texts Illuminated, is, however, $3.16). According to an article in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Technology Review, these Knuth reward checks are “among computerdom’s most prized trophies”. Knuth had to stop sending real checks in 2008 due to bank fraud, and instead now gives each error finder a "certificate of deposit" from a publicly listed balance in his fictitious "Bank of San Serriffe".[13]
  • Version numbers of his TeX software approach the number π, in that versions increment in the style 3, 3.1, 3.14. 3.141, and so on. Similarly, version numbers of Metafont approach the base of the natural logarithm, e.
  • He once warned a correspondent, “Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it.”[1]
  • All appendices in the Computers and Typesetting series have titles that begin with the letter identifying the appendix.
  • TAOCP volume 3 (First Edition) has the index entry “Royalties, use of, 405”. Page 405 has no explicit mention of royalties, but however does contain a diagram of an “organ-pipe arrangement” in Figure 2. Apparently the purchase of the pipe organ in his home was financed by royalties from TAOCP.[14] (In the second edition of the work, the relevant page is 407.)
  • The preface of Concrete Mathematics includes the following anecdote: “When Knuth taught Concrete Mathematics at Stanford for the first time, he explained the somewhat strange title by saying that it was his attempt to teach a math course that was hard instead of soft. He announced that, contrary to the expectations of some of his colleagues, he was not going to teach the Theory of Aggregates [ Aggregate functions or Aggregate (composite) ], not Stone's Embedding Theorem, nor even the Stone–Čech compactification theorem. (Several students from the civil engineering department got up and quietly left the room.)” (Concrete and aggregates are important topics in civil engineering.)
Knuth's "Potrzebie System of Weights and Measures"
  • Knuth published his first “scientific” article in a school magazine in 1957 under the title “Potrzebie System of Weights and Measures.” In it, he defined the fundamental unit of length as the thickness of MAD magazine #26, and named the fundamental unit of force “whatmeworry.” MAD magazine bought the article and published it in the #33, June 1957 issue.
  • Knuth's first “mathematical” article was a short paper submitted to a “science talent search” contest for high-school seniors in 1955, and published in 1960, in which he discussed number systems where the radix was negative. He further generalized this to number systems where the radix was a complex number. In particular, he defined the quater-imaginary base system, which uses the imaginary number 2i as the base, having the unusual feature that every complex number can be represented with the digits 0, 1, 2, and 3, without a sign.
  • Knuth’s article about the computational complexity of songs, "The Complexity of Songs", was reprinted twice in computer science journals.
  • To demonstrate the concept, Knuth intentionally referred 'Circular definition' and 'Definition, circular' to each other in the index of The Art of Computer Programming Vol. 1.

Works

A short list of his works:[15]

  1. Volume 1: Fundamental Algorithms (3rd edition), 1997. Addison-Wesley Professional, ISBN 0-201-89683-4
  2. Volume 2: Seminumerical Algorithms (3rd Edition), 1997. Addison-Wesley Professional, ISBN 0-201-89684-2
  3. Volume 3: Sorting and Searching (2nd Edition), 1998. Addison-Wesley Professional, ISBN 0-201-89685-0
  4. Volume 4: Combinatorial Algorithms, in preparation
  • Donald E. Knuth, The Art of Computer Programming, fascicles:
  1. Volume 1, Fascicle 1: MMIX—A RISC Computer for the New Millennium, 2005. ISBN 0-201-85392-2
  2. Volume 4, Fascicle 0: Introduction to Combinatorial Algorithms and Boolean Functions. 2008. ISBN 0-321-53496-4
  3. Volume 4, Fascicle 1: Bitwise Tricks & Techniques; Binary Decision Diagrams. 2009. ISBN 0-321-58050-8
  4. Volume 4, Fascicle 2: Generating All Tuples and Permutations, 2005. ISBN 0-201-85393-0
  5. Volume 4, Fascicle 3: Generating All Combinations and Partitions, 2005. ISBN 0-201-85394-9
  6. Volume 4, Fascicle 4: Generating All Trees—History of Combinatorial Generation, 2006. ISBN 0-321-33570-8
  • Donald E. Knuth, Computers & Typesetting :[16]
  1. Volume A, The TeXbook (Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley, 1984), x+483pp. ISBN 0-201-13447-0
  2. Volume B, TeX: The Program (Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley, 1986), xviii+600pp. ISBN 0-201-13437-3
  3. Volume C, The METAFONTbook (Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley, 1986), xii+361pp. ISBN 0-201-13445-4
  4. Volume D, METAFONT: The Program (Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley, 1986), xviii+566pp. ISBN 0-201-13438-1
  5. Volume E, Computer Modern Typefaces (Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley, 1986), xvi+588pp.
  1. Donald E. Knuth, Literate Programming (Center for the Study of Language and Information — Lecture Notes), 1992. ISBN 0-937073-80-6
  2. Donald E. Knuth, Selected Papers on Computer Science (Stanford, California: Center for the Study of Language and Information — CSLI Lecture Notes, no. 59), 1996. ISBN 1-881526-91-7
  3. Donald E. Knuth, Digital Typography (Stanford, California: Center for the Study of Language and Information — CSLI Lecture Notes, no. 78), 1999. ISBN 1-57586-010-4
  4. Donald E. Knuth, Selected Papers on Analysis of Algorithms (Stanford, California: Center for the Study of Language and Information — CSLI Lecture Notes, no. 102), 2000. ISBN 1-57586-212-3
  5. Donald E. Knuth, Selected Papers on Computer Languages (Stanford, California: Center for the Study of Language and Information — CSLI Lecture Notes, no. 139), 2003. ISBN 1-57586-381-2 (cloth), ISBN 1-57586-382-0 (paperback)
  6. Donald E. Knuth, Selected Papers on Discrete Mathematics (Stanford, California: Center for the Study of Language and Information — CSLI Lecture Notes, no. 106), 2003. ISBN 1-57586-249-2 (cloth), ISBN 1-57586-248-4 (paperback)
  7. Donald E. Knuth, Selected Papers on Design of Algorithms (Stanford, California: Center for the Study of Language and Information — CSLI Lecture Notes, no. 191), 2010. ISBN 1-57586-583-1 (cloth), ISBN 1-57586-582-3 (paperback)
  8. Donald E. Knuth, Selected Papers on Fun and Games (publication planned in late 2010)
  • Donald E. Knuth, 3:16 Bible Texts Illuminated (Madison, Wisconsin: A-R Editions), 1990. ISBN 0-89579-252-4
  • Donald E. Knuth, Things a Computer Scientist Rarely Talks About (Center for the Study of Language and Information — CSLI Lecture Notes no 136), 2001. ISBN 1-57586-326-X

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Frequently Asked Questions" at Stanford site. Gives the pronunciation of his name as "Ka-NOOTH".
  2. ^ Donald Knuth's Homepage at Stanford.
  3. ^ The Art of Computer Programming (Stanford University).
  4. ^ Knuth's CV
  5. ^ Dennis Elliott Shasha; Cathy A. Lazere (1998), Out of their minds: the lives and discoveries of 15 great computer scientists, Springer, p. 90, ISBN 9780387982694, http://books.google.com/books?id=-0tDZX3z-8UC&pg=PA90 
  6. ^ Kenneth H. Rosen, Discrete Mathematics and Its Applications 4th Ed., McGraw-Hill. 1999. p.82
  7. ^ [http://www-cs-faculty.stanford.edu/~knuth/taocp.html
  8. ^ Love at First Byte. Stanford Magazine, May/June 2006.
  9. ^ Knuth, Donald Knuth versus Email last changed on 2005-09-23, Retrieved on 2008-12-29.
  10. ^ Great Lives - Donald Knuth, Coping with cancer.
  11. ^ http://www.admin.technion.ac.il/harvey/1995-2.html
  12. ^ http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~katayanagi/
  13. ^ “Rewriting the Bible in 0’s and 1’s” in the Technology Review of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  14. ^ “Pipe Organ” at Stanford site
  15. ^ A complete list is also available: "Books" at Stanford site
  16. ^ A complete list is also available: "Books" at Stanford site
  17. ^ "Selected Papers" at Stanford site

External links

Advertisements

Interviews and lectures


Donald Ervin Knuth
Born January 10, 1938 (1938-01-10) (age 73)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
Residence U.S.
Nationality American
Fields Mathematics
Computer science
Institutions Stanford University
Alma mater Case Institute of Technology
California Institute of Technology
Doctoral advisor Marshall Hall, Jr.
Doctoral students Leonidas J. Guibas
Scott Kim
Vaughan Pratt
Robert Sedgewick
Jeffrey Vitter
Andrei Broder
Bernard Marcel Mont-Reynaud
Known for The Art of Computer Programming
TeX, METAFONT
Knuth–Morris–Pratt algorithm
Knuth–Bendix completion algorithm
MMIX
Notable awards Turing Award (1974)
John von Neumann Medal (1995)
Harvey Prize (1995)
Kyoto Prize (1996)

Donald Ervin Knuth (pronounced /kəˈnuːθ/[1]) (born January 10, 1938) is a computer scientist and Professor Emeritus of the Art of Computer Programming at Stanford University.[2]

Author of the seminal multi-volume work The Art of Computer Programming ("TAOCP"),[3] Knuth has been called the "father" of the analysis of algorithms, contributing to the development of, and systematizing formal mathematical techniques for, the rigorous analysis of the computational complexity of algorithms, and in the process popularizing asymptotic notation.

In addition to fundamental contributions in several branches of theoretical computer science, Knuth is the creator of the TeX computer typesetting system, the related METAFONT font definition language and rendering system, and the Computer Modern family of typefaces.

A writer and scholar,[4] Knuth created the WEB/CWEB computer programming systems designed to encourage and facilitate literate programming, and designed the MMIX instruction set architecture.

Contents

Education and academic work

Knuth was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where his father owned a small printing business and taught bookkeeping at Milwaukee Lutheran High School, which he attended. He was an excellent student, earning achievement awards. He applied his intelligence in unconventional ways, winning a contest when he was in eighth grade by finding over 4,500 words that could be formed from the letters in "Ziegler's Giant Bar." The judges had only about 2,500 words on their master list. This won him a television set for his school and a candy bar for everyone in his class.[5]

Knuth had a difficult time choosing physics over music as his major at Case Institute of Technology (now part of Case Western Reserve University). He also joined Theta Chi Fraternity. He then switched from physics to mathematics, and in 1960 he received his bachelor of science degree, simultaneously receiving his master of science degree by a special award of the faculty who considered his work outstanding. At Case, he managed the basketball team and applied his talents by constructing a formula for the value of each player. This novel approach was covered by Newsweek and by Walter Cronkite on the CBS television network.[6] As an undergraduate at Case, Knuth was hired to write compilers for different computers.

In 1963, he earned a Ph.D. in mathematics (advisor: Marshall Hall) from the California Institute of Technology, where he became a professor and began work on The Art of Computer Programming, originally planned to be a single book, and then planned as a six, and then seven-volume series. In 1968, he published the first volume. That same year, he joined the faculty of Stanford University, having turned down a job offer from the National Security Agency (NSA).

In 1971, Knuth was the recipient of the first ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award. He has received various other awards including the Turing Award, the National Medal of Science, the John von Neumann Medal, and the Kyoto Prize. After producing the third volume of his series in 1976, he expressed such frustration with the nascent state of the then newly developed electronic publishing tools (especially those that provided input to phototypesetters) that he took time out to work on typesetting and created the TeX and METAFONT tools.

In recognition of Knuth's contributions to the field of computer science, in 1990 he was awarded the one-of-a-kind academic title of Professor of The Art of Computer Programming, which has since been revised to Professor Emeritus of The Art of Computer Programming.

In 1992 he became an associate of the French Academy of Sciences. Also that year, he retired from regular research and teaching at Stanford University in order to finish The Art of Computer Programming. In 2003 he was elected as a foreign member of the Royal Society. As of 2004, the first three volumes of his series have been re-issued, and Knuth is currently working on volume four, excerpts of which are released periodically on his website.[7] Meanwhile, Knuth gives informal lectures a few times a year at Stanford University, which he calls Computer Musings. He is also a visiting professor at the Oxford University Computing Laboratory in the United Kingdom.[citation needed]

In addition to his writings on computer science, Knuth, a Lutheran,[8] is also the author of 3:16 Bible Texts Illuminated,[9] in which he examines the Bible by a process of systematic sampling, namely an analysis of chapter 3, verse 16 of each book. Each verse is accompanied by a rendering in calligraphic art, contributed by a group of calligraphers under the leadership of Hermann Zapf.

He is also the author of Surreal Numbers,[10] a mathematical novelette on John Conway's set theory construction of an alternate system of numbers. Instead of simply explaining the subject, the book seeks to show the development of the mathematics. Knuth wanted the book to prepare students for doing original, creative research.

On January 1, 1990, Knuth announced to his colleagues that he would no longer have an e-mail address, so that he might concentrate on his work.[11]

In 2006, Knuth was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He underwent surgery in December that year and started "a little bit of radiation therapy [...] as a precaution but the prognosis looks pretty good," as he reported in his video autobiography.[12]

Knuth was elected as a Fellow (first class of Fellows) of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics in 2009 for his outstanding contributions to mathematics.[13] He is a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.[14]

Awards

Knuth’s humor

Knuth is known for his "professional humor". ]]

  • He used to pay a finder’s fee of $2.56 for any typographical errors or mistakes discovered in his books, because "256 pennies is one hexadecimal dollar", and $0.32 for "valuable suggestions". (His bounty for errata in 3:16 Bible Texts Illuminated, is, however, $3.16). According to an article in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Technology Review, these Knuth reward checks are "among computerdom's most prized trophies". Knuth had to stop sending real checks in 2008 due to bank fraud, and instead now gives each error finder a "certificate of deposit" from a publicly listed balance in his fictitious "Bank of San Serriffe".[17]
  • Version numbers of his TeX software approach the number π, in that versions increment in the style 3, 3.1, 3.14. 3.141, and so on. Similarly, version numbers of Metafont approach the base of the natural logarithm, e.
  • He once warned a correspondent, "Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it."[1]
  • All appendices in the Computers and Typesetting series have titles that begin with the letter identifying the appendix.
  • TAOCP volume 3 (First Edition) has the index entry "Royalties, use of, 405". Page 405 has no explicit mention of royalties, but however does contain a diagram of an "organ-pipe arrangement" in Figure 2. Apparently the purchase of the pipe organ in his home was financed by royalties from TAOCP.[18] (In the second edition of the work, the relevant page is 407.)
  • The preface of Concrete Mathematics includes the following anecdote: "When Knuth taught Concrete Mathematics at Stanford for the first time, he explained the somewhat strange title by saying that it was his attempt to teach a math course that was hard instead of soft. He announced that, contrary to the expectations of some of his colleagues, he was not going to teach the Theory of Aggregates, not Stone's Embedding Theorem, nor even the Stone–Čech compactification theorem. (Several students from the civil engineering department got up and quietly left the room.)" (Concrete and aggregates are important topics in civil engineering.)

[[File:|thumb|200px|Knuth's "Potrzebie System of Weights and Measures"]]

  • Knuth published his first "scientific" article in a school magazine in 1957 under the title "Potrzebie System of Weights and Measures." In it, he defined the fundamental unit of length as the thickness of MAD magazine #26, and named the fundamental unit of force "whatmeworry." MAD magazine bought the article and published it in the #33, June 1957 issue.
  • Knuth's first "mathematical" article was a short paper submitted to a "science talent search" contest for high-school seniors in 1955, and published in 1960, in which he discussed number systems where the radix was negative. He further generalized this to number systems where the radix was a complex number. In particular, he defined the quater-imaginary base system, which uses the imaginary number 2i as the base, having the unusual feature that every complex number can be represented with the digits 0, 1, 2, and 3, without a sign.
  • Knuth's article about the computational complexity of songs, "The Complexity of Songs", was reprinted twice in computer science journals.
  • To demonstrate the concept, Knuth intentionally referred "Circular definition" and "Definition, circular" to each other in the index of The Art of Computer Programming Vol. 1.
  • At the TUG 2010 Conference, Knuth announced an XML-based successor to TeX, titled "iTeX" (pronounced [i᷉ːtɛ̌ks], with a cow bell ringing), which would support features such as arbitrarily scaled irrational units, 3D printing, animation, and stereographic sound.[19]

Works

A short list of his works:[20]

  1. Volume 1: Fundamental Algorithms (3rd edition), 1997. Addison-Wesley Professional, ISBN 0-201-89683-4
  2. Volume 2: Seminumerical Algorithms (3rd Edition), 1997. Addison-Wesley Professional, ISBN 0-201-89684-2
  3. Volume 3: Sorting and Searching (2nd Edition), 1998. Addison-Wesley Professional, ISBN 0-201-89685-0
  4. Volume 4: Combinatorial Algorithms, in preparation
  • Donald E. Knuth, The Art of Computer Programming, fascicles:
  1. Volume 1, Fascicle 1: MMIX—A RISC Computer for the New Millennium, 2005. ISBN 0-201-85392-2
  2. Volume 4, Fascicle 0: Introduction to Combinatorial Algorithms and Boolean Functions. 2008. ISBN 0-321-53496-4
  3. Volume 4, Fascicle 1: Bitwise Tricks & Techniques; Binary Decision Diagrams. 2009. ISBN 0-321-58050-8
  4. Volume 4, Fascicle 2: Generating All Tuples and Permutations, 2005. ISBN 0-201-85393-0
  5. Volume 4, Fascicle 3: Generating All Combinations and Partitions, 2005. ISBN 0-201-85394-9
  6. Volume 4, Fascicle 4: Generating All Trees—History of Combinatorial Generation, 2006. ISBN 0-321-33570-8
  • Donald E. Knuth, Computers & Typesetting :[21]
  1. Volume A, The TeXbook (Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley, 1984), x+483pp. ISBN 0-201-13447-0
  2. Volume B, TeX: The Program (Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley, 1986), xviii+600pp. ISBN 0-201-13437-3
  3. Volume C, The METAFONTbook (Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley, 1986), xii+361pp. ISBN 0-201-13445-4
  4. Volume D, METAFONT: The Program (Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley, 1986), xviii+566pp. ISBN 0-201-13438-1
  5. Volume E, Computer Modern Typefaces (Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley, 1986), xvi+588pp.
  1. Donald E. Knuth, Literate Programming (Center for the Study of Language and Information — Lecture Notes), 1992. ISBN 0-937073-80-6
  2. Donald E. Knuth, Selected Papers on Computer Science (Stanford, California: Center for the Study of Language and Information — CSLI Lecture Notes, no. 59), 1996. ISBN 1-881526-91-7
  3. Donald E. Knuth, Digital Typography (Stanford, California: Center for the Study of Language and Information — CSLI Lecture Notes, no. 78), 1999. ISBN 1-57586-010-4
  4. Donald E. Knuth, Selected Papers on Analysis of Algorithms (Stanford, California: Center for the Study of Language and Information — CSLI Lecture Notes, no. 102), 2000. ISBN 1-57586-212-3
  5. Donald E. Knuth, Selected Papers on Computer Languages (Stanford, California: Center for the Study of Language and Information — CSLI Lecture Notes, no. 139), 2003. ISBN 1-57586-381-2 (cloth), ISBN 1-57586-382-0 (paperback)
  6. Donald E. Knuth, Selected Papers on Discrete Mathematics (Stanford, California: Center for the Study of Language and Information — CSLI Lecture Notes, no. 106), 2003. ISBN 1-57586-249-2 (cloth), ISBN 1-57586-248-4 (paperback)
  7. Donald E. Knuth, Selected Papers on Design of Algorithms (Stanford, California: Center for the Study of Language and Information — CSLI Lecture Notes, no. 191), 2010. ISBN 1-57586-583-1 (cloth), ISBN 1-57586-582-3 (paperback)
  8. Donald E. Knuth, Selected Papers on Fun and Games (publication planned in late 2010)

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Frequently Asked Questions" at Stanford site. Gives the pronunciation of his name as "Ka-NOOTH".
  2. ^ Donald Knuth's Homepage at Stanford.
  3. ^ The Art of Computer Programming (Stanford University).
  4. ^ Knuth's CV
  5. ^ Dennis Elliott Shasha; Cathy A. Lazere (1998). Out of their minds: the lives and discoveries of 15 great computer scientists. Springer. p. 90. ISBN 9780387982694. http://books.google.com/?id=-0tDZX3z-8UC&pg=PA90 
  6. ^ Kenneth H. Rosen, Discrete Mathematics and Its Applications 4th Ed., McGraw-Hill. 1999. p.82
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ Love at First Byte. Stanford Magazine, May/June 2006.
  9. ^ Knuth, Donald (1991). 3:16 : Bible texts illuminated. A-R Eds.. ISBN 9780895792525. 
  10. ^ Knuth, Donald (1974). Surreal numbers : how two ex-students turned on to pure mathematics and found total happiness : a mathematical novelette. Addison-Wesley. ISBN 9780201038125. 
  11. ^ Knuth, Donald Knuth versus Email last changed on 2005-09-23, Retrieved on 2008-12-29.
  12. ^ Great Lives - Donald Knuth, Coping with cancer.
  13. ^ http://fellows.siam.org/index.php?sort=year&value=2009
  14. ^ "Gruppe 1: Matematiske fag" (in Norwegian). Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. http://www.dnva.no/c26849/artikkel/vis.html?tid=40116. Retrieved 7 October 2010. 
  15. ^ http://www.admin.technion.ac.il/harvey/1995-2.html
  16. ^ http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~katayanagi/
  17. ^ "Rewriting the Bible in 0's and 1's" in the Technology Review of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  18. ^ "Pipe Organ" at Stanford site
  19. ^ A video recording, uploaded with Knuth's permission is available at River Valley TV
  20. ^ A complete list is also available: "Books" at Stanford site
  21. ^ A complete list is also available: "Books" at Stanford site
  22. ^ "Selected Papers" at Stanford site

External links

Interviews and lectures


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

We should continually be striving to transform every art into a science: in the process, we advance the art.

Donald Ervin Knuth (born 10 January 1938), Professor Emeritus of the Art of Computer Programming at Stanford University, is a renowned computer scientist and winner of the 1974 Turing Award.

Contents

Sourced

  • Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it.
    • Donald Knuth's webpage states the line was used to end a memo entitled Notes on the van Emde Boas construction of priority deques: An instructive use of recursion (1977)
  • I can’t be as confident about computer science as I can about biology. Biology easily has 500 years of exciting problems to work on. It’s at that level.
  • The psychological profiling [of a programmer] is mostly the ability to shift levels of abstraction, from low level to high level. To see something in the small and to see something in the large.
  • The important thing, once you have enough to eat and a nice house, is what you can do for others, what you can contribute to the enterprise as a whole.
  • The whole thing that makes a mathematician’s life worthwhile is that he gets the grudging admiration of three or four colleagues.
    • Jack Woehr. An interview with Donald Knuth. Dr. Dobb's Journal, pages 16-22 (April 1996)
  • Science is what we understand well enough to explain to a computer. Art is everything else we do.
  • A mathematical formula should never be "owned" by anybody! Mathematics belong to God.
    • Digital Typography, ch. 1, p. 8 (1999)
  • I define UNIX as 30 definitions of regular expressions living under one roof.
    • Digital Typography, ch. 33, p. 649 (1999)
  • I can’t go to a restaurant and order food because I keep looking at the fonts on the menu.
    • Knuth, Donald (2002). "All Questions Answered". Notices of the AMS 49 (3): 321.
  • Email is a wonderful thing for people whose role in life is to be on top of things. But not for me; my role is to be on the bottom of things. What I do takes long hours of studying and uninterruptible concentration.

The Art of Computer Programming (1968-2005)

  • An algorithm must be seen to be believed.
    • Vol. I, Fundamental Algorithms, Section 1.1 (1968)
  • The sun comes up just about as often as it goes down, in the long run, but this doesn't make its motion random.
    • Vol. II, Seminumerical Algorithms, Section 3.3.2 part B, first paragraph (1969)
  • The reason is not to glorify "bit chasing"; a more fundamental issue is at stake here: Numerical subroutines should deliver results that satisfy simple, useful mathematical laws whenever possible. [...] Without any underlying symmetry properties, the job of proving interesting results becomes extremely unpleasant. The enjoyment of one's tools is an essential ingredient of successful work.
    • Vol. II, Seminumerical Algorithms, Section 4.2.2 part A, final paragraph [Italics in source]
  • Any inaccuracies in this index may be explained by the fact that it has been sorted with the help of a computer.
    • Vol. III, Sorting and Searching, End of index (1973)

Computer Programming as an Art (1974)

1974 Turing Award Lecture[1], Communications of the ACM 17 (12), (December 1974), pp. 667–673

  • Science is knowledge which we understand so well that we can teach it to a computer; and if we don't fully understand something, it is an art to deal with it.
    • p. 668
  • We should continually be striving to transform every art into a science: in the process, we advance the art.
    • p. 669 [italics in source]
  • Premature optimization is the root of all evil (or at least most of it) in programming.
    • p. 671
    • Premature optimization is the root of all evil.
    • Knuth refers to this as "Hoare's Dictum" 15 years later in "The Errors of Tex", Software—Practice & Experience 19:7 (July 1989), pp. 607–685. However, the attribution to C. A. R. Hoare is doubtful.[2]
      • All three of these papers are reprinted in Knuth, Literate Programming, 1992, Center for the Study of Language and Information ISBN 0937073806
  • Computer programming is an art, because it applies accumulated knowledge to the world, because it requires skill and ingenuity, and especially because it produces objects of beauty. A programmer who subconsciously views himself as an artist will enjoy what he does and will do it better.
    • p. 673

Quotes about Donald Knuth

  • For his major contributions to the analysis of algorithms and the design of programming languages, and in particular for his contributions to the "art of computer programming" through his well-known books in a continuous series by this title.

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