Mike Woodger

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Mike Woodger
Pilot ACE computer.jpg
The Pilot ACE computer, now in the Science Museum, London
Born (1923-03-28) 28 March 1923 (age 99)
Alma materUniversity College London
Known for
Scientific career
FieldsComputer science
InstitutionsNational Physical Laboratory

Michael Woodger (born 28 March 1923) is a pioneering English computer scientist. He was influential in the development of the early Pilot ACE computer, working with Alan Turing, and later the design and documentation of programming languages such as ALGOL 60 and Ada.[1] He was based at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) located in Teddington, London, for most of his career.[2]

Mike Woodger was the eldest of four children. His father was Joseph Henry Woodger (1894–1981), a professor of biology at the University of London.[1] He graduated from University College London in 1943 and worked at the Ministry of Supply on military applications for the rest of World War II.[3] In May 1946, he then joined the new Mathematics Division at the National Physical Laboratory located in west London. At NPL, he worked with Alan Turing on the ACE computer design,[4] leading eventually to the Pilot ACE computer[5] after Turing had left NPL, first operational in 1950.[6] He later worked on programming language design, especially ALGOL 60 and Ada.[7]


  1. ^ a b Yates, David (Spring 2010). "Pioneer Profile: Michael Woodger". Computer Resurrection – The Bulletin of the Computer Conservation Society. Vol. 50.
  2. ^ Yates, David M. (1997). Turing's Legacy: A history of computing at the National Physical Laboratory 1945–1995. UK: Science Museum, London. pp. 10, 12, 24, 30–31, 38, 39, 66, 70, 111, 124, 159, 176, 182, 219, 222, 236, 316, 329, 331, 332. ISBN 978-0-9018-0594-2.
  3. ^ "Michael Woodger". UK: National Physical Laboratory. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  4. ^ Woodger, M. (1951). "Automatic Computing Engine of the National Physical Laboratory". Nature. 167: 270.
  5. ^ Campbell-Kelly, Martin (1981). "Programming the Pilot ACE: Early Programming Activity at the National Physical Laboratory". IEEE Annals of the History of Computing. Vol. 3, no. 1. IEEE. pp. 133–162.
  6. ^ "Alan Turing: Assistant Mike Woodger recalls working with the computer pioneer". BBC News. UK: BBC. 22 June 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  7. ^ Lee, J. A. N. "Michael Woodger". IEEE Computer Society. IEEE. Retrieved 26 January 2017.