Daniel Sleator

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Daniel Sleator
Born 10 December 1953 (1953-12-10) (age 64)
Residence Pittsburgh
Alma mater University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Stanford University
Awards Paris Kanellakis Award (1999)
Scientific career
Fields Computer Science
Institutions Carnegie Mellon University
Doctoral advisor Robert Tarjan

Daniel Dominic Kaplan Sleator (born 10 December 1953 in St. Louis)[1] is a Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, United States. In 1999, he won the ACM Paris Kanellakis Award (jointly with Robert Tarjan) for the splay tree data structure.[2]

He was one of the pioneers in amortized analysis of algorithms, early examples of which were the analyses of the move-to-front heuristic,[3] and splay trees.[4] He invented many data structures with Robert Tarjan, such as splay trees, link/cut trees, and skew heaps.

The Sleator and Tarjan paper on the move-to-front heuristic[3] first suggested the idea of comparing an online algorithm to an optimal offline algorithm, for which the term competitive analysis was later coined in a paper of Karlin, Manasse, Rudolph, and Sleator.[5] Sleator also developed the theory of link grammars, and the Serioso music analyzer for analyzing meter and harmony in written music.

Personal life[edit]

Sleator commercialized the volunteer-based Internet Chess Server into the Internet Chess Club despite outcry from fellow volunteers. The ICS has since become one of the most successful internet-based commercial chess servers.

He is the brother of William Sleator, who wrote science fiction for young adults.

From 2003 to 2008, Sleator co-hosted the progressive talk show Left Out on WRCT-FM with Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science faculty member Bob Harper.


  1. ^ American Men and Women of Science, Thomson Gale, 2004
  2. ^ Citation for Sleator and Tarjan Kanellakis Award Archived 2012-02-11 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ a b Sleator, Daniel D.; Tarjan, Robert E. (1985), "Amortized efficiency of list update and paging rules" (PDF), Communications of the ACM, 28 (2): 202–208, doi:10.1145/2786.2793 
  4. ^ Sleator, Daniel D.; Tarjan, Robert E. (1985), "Self-Adjusting Binary Search Trees" (PDF), Journal of the ACM, 32 (3): 652–686, doi:10.1145/3828.3835 
  5. ^ Karlin, Anna R.; Manasse, Mark S.; Rudolph, Larry; Sleator, Daniel D. (1988), "Competitive snoopy caching", Algorithmica, 3 (1): 79–119, doi:10.1007/BF01762111, MR 0925479 

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