Cos (cos) wrote,

Famous Computer Scientists?

How many computer scientists or other important people in computing are famous enough that people outside the field know their names? Which ones?

If you're not and never have been a computer science or computer engineering major, or professional programmer or system administrator or something like that, please leave a comment naming anyone you think of as a famous computer scientist or important person in the history of computing? Or that you can't think of any, because maybe the answer is that none are well known enough to be known to most people here.

(If you are or have been one of those things, you could comment too, but state your background)


1. People who are primarily engineers who made significant contributions to the field of computing count.

2. Leave a comment with what name come to mind (or that none do) before reading other comments. Repeats are great! Then I know several people thought of that name.

3. Steve Jobs is a good example of a name that comes to lots of people's minds in relation to computing but who is not the sort of person I'm asking about. He was an excellent entrepreneur and business leader who made very significant contributions to design as well - and I think its that which makes people mention him here. But what I'm looking for are famous people who made important technical or mathematical contributions and became well known because of that. Right from the start of Apple, Jobs was the one who saw the business opportunities and made them happen, not really the one who did the tech.

There's definitely a gray area there, because some people were important in the field of computing due in large part to how they shaped the field, perhaps by making computing usable in new ways, and it gets fuzzy in some of those cases, so I want to bring up Jobs as an illustration of the "not what I'm asking about" side of that fuzzy zone.
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