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|Michael E. Lesk|
|Alma mater||Harvard University|
|Known for||Lesk algorithm, Lex, SMART|
|Awards||ACM Fellow (1996)
NAE Member (2005)
|Fields||IR, NLP, Programming languages|
Michael E. (Mike) Lesk is a computer scientist.
In the 1960s, Michael Lesk worked for the SMART Information Retrieval System project, wrote much of its retrieval code and did many of the retrieval experiments, as well as obtaining a Ph.D. from Harvard University in Chemical Physics.
From 1970 to 1984, Lesk worked at Bell Labs in the group that built Unix. Lesk wrote Unix tools for word processing (tbl, refer, and the standard ms macro package, all for troff), for compiling (Lex), and for networking (uucp). He also wrote the Portable I/O Library (the predecessor to stdio.h in C) and contributed significantly to the development of the C language preprocessor.
In 1984, he left to work for Bellcore, where he managed the computer science research group. There, Lesk worked on specific information systems applications, mostly with geography (a system for driving directions) and dictionaries (a system for disambiguating words in context).
From 1998 to 2002, Lesk headed the National Science Foundation's Division of Information and Intelligent Systems, where he oversaw Phase 2 of the NSF's Digital Library Initiative.
Currently, he is on the faculty of the Library and Information Science Department, School of Communication & Information, Rutgers University.
- Practical Digital Libraries: Books, Bytes, and Bucks, 1997. ISBN 978-1-55860-459-9.
- Understanding Digital Libraries, 2nd ed., December 2004. ISBN 978-1-55860-924-2.