Harry R. Lewis

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For other people named Harry Lewis, see Harry Lewis (disambiguation).
Lewis speaking in 2008.

Harry Roy Lewis (born April 19, 1947)[1] is a Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science and the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Computer Science at Harvard University.[1][2] He is also a Faculty Associate of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard.[3][4] He is in addition the author of several books, including Excellence Without A Soul: How a Great University Forgot Education (2006),[5][6] and is a co-author (with Hal Abelson and Ken Ledeen) of Blown to Bits: Your Life, Liberty, and Happiness After the Digital Explosion, a work that explores the origins and public consequences of the explosion in recent years of digital information. He was the Dean of Harvard College from 1995 to 2003. He is a Visitor of Ralston College[7] and a Life Trustee of the Roxbury Latin School.[8] He blogs regularly at http://harry-lewis.blogspot.com/ and his old blog may still be found on-line at http://www.bitsbook.com/blog/

Harry Lewis was born in Boston, Massachusetts.[1] He earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Harvard in Applied MathematicsBachelor's degree summa cum laude in 1968, Master's degree in 1973 and his PhD in 1974.[1][2] His PhD thesis, supervised by Burton Dreben, was titled "Herbrand Expansions and Reductions of the Decision Problem."[1][9] He has been a member of the Harvard faculty since 1974.[3] Among his students were the young Bill Gates[10] and Mark Zuckerberg, whose website "Six Degrees to Harry Lewis" was a precursor to Facebook.[11] His wife is Marlyn McGrath Lewis, Harvard's director of admissions, and his daughter Elizabeth is married to Washington Post journalist David Fahrenthold.[12]


  1. Unsolvable Classes of Quantificational Formulas; Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Reading, Massachusetts, 1979
  2. Harry R. Lewis and Christos H. Papadimitriou Elements of the Theory of Computation; Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1981
  3. An Introduction to Computer Programming and Data Structures using MACRO-11; Reston Publishing Company, Reston, Virginia, 1981
  4. Harry R. Lewis and Larry Denenberg; Data Structures and their Algorithms; Harper Collins Publishers, Inc., New York, 1991
  5. Harry R. Lewis and Christos H. Papadimitriou; STOICHEIA THEORIAS HYPOLOGISMOU ; Technical Chapter of Greece --- TEE, Athens, Greece, 1992. (Greek language edition of #2)
  6. Harry R. Lewis and Christos H. Papadimitriou; Elements of the Theory of Computation, Second Edition; Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1997
  7. Harry R. Lewis and Christos H. Papadimitriou; Elementos de Teoria da Computação, 2a Edição; Bookman, Porto Alegre, 2000 (Portuguese language edition of #6)
  8. Harry R. Lewis, Excellence Without a Soul: How a Great University Forgot Education, PublicAffairs, 2006.[5][6]
  9. Paperback edition of #8, subtitled Does Liberal Education Have a Future?, 2007.
  10. Chinese (both mainland and Taiwan) and Korean editions of #8.
  11. Hal Abelson, Ken Ledeen, Harry Lewis, Blown to Bits: Your Life, Liberty, and Happiness After the Digital Explosion, Addison-Wesley, 2008.[13]


  1. ^ a b c d e Curriculum vitae from Lewis' web site at Harvard.
  2. ^ a b Faculty directory, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Science, retrieved 2010-01-25.
  3. ^ a b http://people.seas.harvard.edu/~lewis/HRL%20Full%20CV.html
  4. ^ http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/people/faculty+associates
  5. ^ a b Review by William Gasarch (2007) in ACM SIGACT News 38(1): 9–13, doi:10.1145/1233481.1233486.
  6. ^ a b Poison Ivy: A Harvard man urges the school to redefine its mission, Christopher Shea, Washington Post, July 2, 2006.
  7. ^ http://www.ralston.ac
  8. ^ http://www.roxburylatin.org/about-rl/our-trustees/index.aspx
  9. ^ Harry Roy Lewis at the Mathematics Genealogy Project.
  10. ^ Kestenbaum, David (July 4, 2008), Before Microsoft, Gates Solved A Pancake Problem, National Public Radio .
  11. ^ Guan, Amy; Jain, Radhika (April 8, 2011), "Young Entrepreneurs Put College on Hold", Harvard Crimson .
  12. ^ "Elizabeth Lewis and David Fahrenthold". The New York Times. August 21, 2005. Retrieved December 3, 2016. 
  13. ^ Review by Bill Gasarch (2009) in ACM SIGACT News 40(1): 10–13, doi:10.1145/1515698.1515701.

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