Andrew S. Tanenbaum
|Andrew S. Tanenbaum|
Computer scientist, Professor Andy Tanenbaum of Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam
March 16, 1944 |
New York City, United States
|Alma mater||Massachusetts Institute of Technology
University of California, Berkeley
|Thesis||A Study of the Five Minute Oscillations, Supergranulation, and Related Phenomena in the Solar Atmosphere (1971)|
|Doctoral advisor||John M. Wilcox|
|Doctoral students||Henri Bal
Robbert van Renesse
Leendert van Doorn
Andrew Stuart "Andy" Tanenbaum (sometimes referred to by the handle ast) (born March 16, 1944) is an American computer scientist and professor of computer science at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
He is best known as the author of MINIX, a free Unix-like operating system for teaching purposes, and for his computer science textbooks, regarded as standard texts in the field. He regards his teaching job as his most important work. Since 2004 he has operated Electoral-vote.com, a website dedicated to analysis of polling data in federal elections in the United States.
He was born in New York City and grew up in suburban White Plains, New York. He received his bachelor of Science degree in Physics from MIT in 1965. He received his Ph.D. degree in physics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1971. Tanenbaum served as a lobbyist for the Sierra Club.
He moved to the Netherlands to live with his wife, who is Dutch, but he retains his United States citizenship. He teaches courses about Computer Organization and Operating Systems and supervises the work of Ph.D. candidates at the VU University Amsterdam.
He is well recognized for his textbooks on computer science:
- Computer Networks, co-authored with David J. Wetherall 
- Operating Systems: Design and Implementation, co-authored with Albert Woodhull,
- Modern Operating Systems,
- Distributed Operating Systems, 
- Structured Computer Organization, 
- Distributed Systems: Principles and Paradigms, co-authored with Maarten van Steen,
Operating Systems: Design and Implementation and MINIX were Linus Torvalds' inspiration for the Linux kernel. In his autobiography Just for Fun, Torvalds describes it as "the book that launched me to new heights".
His books have been translated into many languages including Arabic, Basque, Bulgarian, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Macedonian, Mexican Spanish, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish. They have appeared in over 120 editions and are used at universities around the world.
Doctoral students 
Tanenbaum has had a number of Ph.D. students who themselves have gone on to become widely known computer science researchers. These include:
- Henri Bal, a professor at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam;
- Frans Kaashoek, a professor at MIT;
- Sape Mullender, a researcher at Bell Labs;
- Robbert van Renesse, a professor at Cornell University;
- Leendert van Doorn, a fellow at the AMD Corporation;
- Werner Vogels, the Chief Technology Officer at Amazon.com.
Dean of the Advanced School for Computing and Imaging 
In the early 1990s, the Dutch government began setting up a number of thematically oriented research schools that spanned multiple universities. These schools were intended to bring professors and Ph.D. students from different Dutch (and later, foreign) universities together to help them cooperate and enhance their research.
Tanenbaum was one of the cofounders and first Dean of the Advanced School for Computing and Imaging (ASCI). This school initially consisted of nearly 200 faculty members and Ph.D. students from the Vrije Universiteit, University of Amsterdam, Delft University of Technology, and Leiden University working in the areas of advanced computer systems, especially parallel computing, and image analysis and processing.
Tanenbaum remained Dean for 12 years, until 2005, when he was awarded an Academy Professorship by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, at which time he became a full-time research professor. ASCI has since grown to include researchers from nearly a dozen universities in The Netherlands, Belgium, and France. ASCI offers Ph.D. level courses, has an annual conference, and runs various workshops every year.
Amsterdam Compiler Kit 
In 1987, Tanenbaum wrote a clone of UNIX, called MINIX (MIni-uNIX), for the IBM PC. It was targeted at students and others who wanted to learn how an operating system worked. Consequently, he wrote a book that listed the source code in an appendix and described it in detail in the text. The source code itself was available on a set of floppy disks. Within three months, a USENET newsgroup, comp.os.minix, had sprung up with over 40,000 subscribers discussing and improving the system. One of these subscribers was a Finnish student named Linus Torvalds who began adding new features to MINIX and tailoring it to his own needs. On October 5, 1991, Torvalds announced his own (POSIX like) kernel, called Linux, which originally used the MINIX file system, but it is not based on MINIX code.
Although MINIX and Linux have diverged, MINIX continues to be developed, now as a production system as well as an educational one. The focus is on building a highly modular, reliable, and secure, operating system. The system is based on a microkernel, with only 5000 lines of code running in kernel mode. The rest of the operating system runs as a number of independent processes in user mode, including processes for the file system, process manager, and each device driver. The system continuously monitors each of these processes, and when a failure is detected is often capable of automatically replacing the failed process without a reboot, without disturbing running programs, and without the user even noticing. MINIX 3, as the current version is called, is available under the BSD license for free.
Research projects 
Tanenbaum has also been involved in numerous other research projects in the areas of operating systems, distributed systems, and ubiquitous computing, often as supervisor of Ph.D. students or a postdoctoral researcher. These projects include:
In 2004, Tanenbaum created Electoral-vote.com, a web site analyzing opinion polls for the 2004 U.S. Presidential Election, using them to project the outcome in the Electoral College. He stated that he created the site as an American who "knows first hand what the world thinks of America and it is not a pretty picture at the moment. I want people to think of America as the land of freedom and democracy, not the land of arrogance and blind revenge. I want to be proud of America again." The site provided a color-coded map, updated each day with projections for each state's electoral votes. Through most of the campaign period Tanenbaum kept his identity secret, referring to himself as "the Votemaster" and acknowledging only that he personally preferred John Kerry. A libertarian who supports the Democrats, he revealed his identity on November 1, 2004, the day prior to the election, also stating his reasons and qualifications for running the website. Through the site he covered the 2006 midterm elections, correctly predicting the winner of all 33 Senate races that year.
In 2008, he tracked the presidential, Senate, and House races. For the presidential election, he got every state right except for Indiana, which he said McCain would win by 2% (Obama won by 1%) and Missouri, which he said was too close to call (McCain won by 0.1%). He correctly predicted all the winners in the Senate races except for Minnesota, where he predicted a 1% win by Norm Coleman. After 7 months of legal battling, Al Franken won this race by 312 votes (0.01%).
Tanenbaum–Torvalds debate 
- Fellow of the ACM
- Fellow of the IEEE
- Member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
- Honorary doctorate from Petru Maior University, Targu Mures, Romania
- Winner of the 2010 TAA McGuffey award for classic textbooks for Modern Operating Systems
- Coauthor of the Best Paper Award at the LADC Conference, 2009
- Winner of a 2.5 million euro European Research Council Advanced Grant, 2008
- USENIX Flame Award 2008  for his many contributions to systems design and to openness both in discussion and in source.
- Honorary doctorate from Polytechnic University of Bucharest, Romania
- Coauthor of the Best Paper Award at the Real-Time and Network Systems Conf., 2008
- Winner of the 2007 IEEE James H. Mulligan, Jr. Education Medal
- Coauthor of the Best Paper Award at the USENIX LISA Conf., 2006
- Coauthor of the Best Paper for High Impact at the IEEE Percom Conf., 2006
- Academy Professor, 2004
- Winner of the 2003 TAA McGuffey award for classic textbooks for Computer Networks
- Winner of the 2002 TAA Texty Award for new textbooks
- Winner of the 1997 ACM SIGCSE for contributions to computer science education
- Winner of the 1994 ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award
- Coauthor of the 1984 ACM SOSP Distinguished Paper Award
Honorary doctorates 
- On October 7, 2011, Universitatea Petru Maior din Târgu Mureș (Petru Maior University of Târgu Mureș) granted Tanenbaum the Doctor Honoris Causa (honorary doctorate) title for his remarkable work in the field of computer science and achievements in education. The academic community is hereby honoring his devotion to teaching and research with this award. At the ceremony, the Chancellor, the Rector, the Dean of the Faculty of Sciences and Letters, and others all spoke about Tanenbaum and his work. The pro-rector then read the 'laudatio,' summarizing Tanenbaum's achievements. These include his work developing MINIX (the predecessor to Linux), the RFID Guardian, his work on Globe, Amoeba, and other systems, and his many books on computer science, which have been translated in many languages, including Romanian, and which are used at Petru Maior University.
- On May 12, 2008, Tanenbaum received an honorary doctorate from Universitatea Politehnica din București). The award was given in the academic senate chamber, after which Tanenbaum gave a lecture on his vision of the future of the computer field. The degree was given in recognition of Tanenbaum's career work, which includes about 150 published papers, 18 books (which have been translated into over 20 languages), and the creation of a large body of open-source software, including the Amsterdam Compiler Kit, Amoeba, Globe, and MINIX.
Keynote talks 
Tanenbaum has been keynote speaker at numerous conferences, most recently
- SIREN 2010 Veldhoven, The Netherlands, Nov. 2, 2010
- FOSDEM Brussels, Belgium, Feb 7, 2010
- NSCNE '09 Changsha, China, Nov. 5, 2009
- E-Democracy 2009 Conference Athens, Greece, Sept. 25, 2009
- Free and Open Source Conference Sankt Augustin, Germany, August 23, 2008
- XV Semana Informática of the Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon, Portugal, March 13, 2008
- NLUUG 25 year anniversary conference, Amsterdam, November 7, 2007
- linux.conf.au in Sydney, Australia, January 17, 2007
- Academic IT Festival in Cracow, Poland, February 23, 2006 (2nd edition)
- ACM Symposium on Operating System Principles, Brighton, England, October 24, 2005
- Bal, H. E.; Steiner, J. G.; Tanenbaum, A. S. (1989). "Programming languages for distributed computing systems". ACM Computing Surveys 21 (3): 261. doi:10.1145/72551.72552.
- Steen, Maarten van; Tanenbaum, Andrew S. (2007). Distributed systems: principles and paradigms. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-239227-5.
- Tanenbaum, Andrew S. (2008). Modern operating systems. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-600663-9.
- Tanenbaum, Andrew S. (1995). Distributed operating systems. Englewood Cliffs, N.J: Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-219908-4.
- Vogels, Werner (2003). Scalable Cluster Technologies for Mission Critical Enterprise Computing (PhD thesis). Vrije Universiteit. http://hdl.handle.net/1871/10357.
- A. S. Tanenbaum (1992-01-29). "LINUX is obsolete". comp.os.minix. (Web link). Retrieved 2006-11-27.
- Works by Andrew S. Tanenbaum on Open Library at the Internet Archive
- List of publications from the DBLP Bibliography Server
- List of publications from Microsoft Academic Search
- List of publications from Google Scholar
- 2004 article about Linux, the Usenet debate, and the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution
- "Man Comes Forward As Web Site Originator". Associated Press. November 1, 2004.
- David Wetherall; Tanenbaum, Andrew S. (2011). Computer networks. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-212695-8.
- Albert S Woodhull; Tanenbaum, Andrew S. (2006). Operating systems: design and implementation. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-142938-8.
- Tanenbaum, Andrew S. (2006). Structured computer organization. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-148521-0.
- The MINIX 3 Operating System
- Andrew S. Tanenbaum's FAQ
- Andrew S. Tanenbaum - Publications
- Andrew S. Tanenbaum - Publications, Colloquia section
- Amazon.com: Operating Systems Design and Implementation (3rd Edition) (Prentice Hall Software Series): Andrew S Tanenbaum, Albert S Woodhull: Books
- Some notes on the "Who wrote Linux" Kerfuffle Archived 11 September 2010 at WebCite
- USENIX April 06
- Andrew S. Tanenbaum, Professor at the Vrije Universiteit
- Tanenbaum, A. S.; Van Renesse, R.; Van Staveren, H.; Sharp, G. J.; Mullender, S. J. (1990). "Experiences with the Amoeba distributed operating system". Communications of the ACM 33 (12): 46. doi:10.1145/96267.96281.
- Van Steen, M.; Homburg, P.; Tanenbaum, A. S. (1999). "Globe: A wide area distributed system". IEEE Concurrency 7: 70. doi:10.1109/4434.749137.
- Bal, H. E.; Kaashoek, M. F.; Tanenbaum, A. S. (1992). "Orca: A language for parallel programming of distributed systems". IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering 18 (3): 190. doi:10.1109/32.126768.
- Van Doorn, L.; Homburg, P.; Tanenbaum, A. S. (1995). "Paramecium: an extensible object-based kernel". Proceedings 5th Workshop on Hot Topics in Operating Systems (HotOS-V). p. 86. doi:10.1109/HOTOS.1995.513460. ISBN 0-8186-7081-9.
- Mitrokotsa, A.; Rieback, M. R.; Tanenbaum, A. S. (2009). "Classifying RFID attacks and defenses". Information Systems Frontiers 12 (5): 491. doi:10.1007/s10796-009-9210-z.
- The Votemaster FAQ
- USENIX Flame Award
- "IEEE James H. Mulligan, Jr. Education Medal Recipients". IEEE. Retrieved November 24, 2010.
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