Gaston Gonnet in 2006.
September 22, 1948
|Nationality||Uruguayan, Canadian, Swiss|
|Alma mater||University of Waterloo|
|Occupation||computer scientist, entrepreneur, professor|
|Known for||Maple Computer Algebra
Oxford English Dictionary Project
Gaston H. Gonnet is a Uruguayan Canadian computer scientist and entrepreneur. He is best known for his contributions to the Maple computer algebra system and the creation of an electronic version of the Oxford English Dictionary.
Education and professional life
In 1980 Gonnet co-founded the Symbolic Computation Group at the University of Waterloo. The work of SCG on a general-purpose computer algebra system later formed the core of the Maple system. In 1988, Gonnet co-founded (with Keith Geddes) the private company Waterloo Maple Inc., to sell Maple commercially. In the mid 90's the company ran into trouble and a disagreement between his colleagues caused him to withdraw from chairman of the Board and managerial involvement. On June 9, 2011, Gonnet and Keith O. Geddes received the ACM Richard D Jenks Memorial Prize for Excellence in Software Engineering Applied to Computer Algebra for the Maple Project.
In 1984 Gonnet co-founded the New Oxford English Dictionary project at UW, which sought to create a searchable electronic version of the Oxford English Dictionary. The project was selected by the Oxford University Press as a partner for the computerisation leading to the publication of the second edition of the OED. The UW project's main contributions were in the parsing of the source text to enhance the tagging and on building a full text searching system based on PAT trees (a version of suffix array). This project later culminated in another successful commercial venture, the Open Text Corporation. Gonnet was founder and chairman of the Board of OTC until 1994.
On March 14, 2013 Gonnet was awarded a Dr. Honoris Causa by the Universidad de la República, engineering faculty from Uruguay.
- Haigh, Thomas (2005), Gaston Gonnet Oral history interview, 16–18 March, 2005, Zurich, Switzerland, Philadelphia, PA: Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
- Murphy, Cullen (February 1, 1989), Caught in the Web of bytes: the electronic Oxford English Dictionary (subscription required), The Atlantic.
- Gaston H. Gonnet at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
- Faculty listing, ETHZ, retrieved 2013-02-14.