Peter Wegner

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Peter Wegner
Born 1932 (age 84–85)[citation needed]
Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.
Nationality American
Fields Computer science
Institutions University of London
University of Cambridge
Brown University
Alma mater University of London[1]
Thesis Programming Languages, Information Structures And Machine Organization (1968)
Doctoral advisor Maurice Wilkes[1]
Doctoral students Daniel Berry
Maylun Buck-Lew
William Cook
Kenneth Magel
Clement McGowan[1]
Notable awards Fellow of the ACM,
Austrian Decoration for Science and Art

Peter A.[2] Wegner (born in 1932) is an American computer scientist who has made significant contributions to both the theory of object-oriented programming during the 1980s and to the relevance of Church-Turing thesis for empirical aspects of computer science during the 1990s and present. In 2016, Wegner wrote this brief autobiography for Conduit, the annual Brown CS magazine. [3][4][5][6][7]


Wegner was educated at the University of London where he was awarded a PhD in 1968 for work supervised by Maurice Wilkes.[8][1]


The seminal work for his previous occupation[clarification needed] is On Understanding Types[9] which was co-authored with Luca Cardelli. For his latter undertaking, he has co-authored several papers and co-edited a book Interactive Computation: the New Paradigm which was published in 2006.


Wegner was inducted as a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) in 1995.[10] In 1999, he was awarded the Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and Art, 1st class (“Österreichisches Ehrenkreuz für Wissenschaft u. Kunst I. Klasse”)[11][12] but was hit by a bus and sustained serious brain injuries when on a trip to London to receive his award.[13] He recovered after a lengthy coma.

He is the former editor-in-chief of ACM Computing Surveys[14] and of The Brown Faculty Bulletin and is currently an emeritus professor at Brown University.


  1. ^ a b c d Peter Wegner at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  2. ^ Warren, Jr., Henry S. (2013) [2002]. Hacker's Delight (2 ed.). Addison Wesley - Pearson Education, Inc. p. 477. ISBN 978-0-321-84268-8. 0-321-84268-5. 
  3. ^ Wegner, Peter. MathSciNet
  4. ^ Peter Wegner at DBLP Bibliography Server
  5. ^ List of publications from Microsoft Academic Search
  6. ^ Peter Wegner author profile page at the ACM Digital Library
  7. ^ Wegner, P. (1997). "Why interaction is more powerful than algorithms". Communications of the ACM. 40 (5): 80. doi:10.1145/253769.253801. 
  8. ^ Wegner, Peter (1968). Programming Languages, Information Structures, and Machine Organization (PhD thesis). University of London. 
  9. ^ Cardelli, Luca; Wegner, Peter (December 1985). "On understanding types, data abstraction, and polymorphism" (PDF). ACM Computing Surveys. New York, NY, USA: ACM. 17 (4): 471–523. ISSN 0360-0300. doi:10.1145/6041.6042. 
  10. ^ "Peter Wegner". ACM Fellows. 1995. Retrieved 2009-10-03.  External link in |work= (help) “For many 27 years Professor Wegner has been an initiating leader in ACM's educational and publication efforts while inspiring several generations of computer scientists.”
  11. ^ "Peter Wegner – A prominent pioneer in computer science!". Faculty of Informatics, TU Vienna. 2006. Retrieved 2009-10-03. 
  12. ^ "Reply to a parliamentary question" (pdf) (in German). p. 1306. Retrieved 24 November 2012. 
  13. ^ Kristen Cole (1999). "Peter Wegner on the mend". George Street Journal, Brown University. Retrieved 2009-10-03. 
  14. ^ "Peter Wegner". ACM Distinguished Service Award. 2000. Retrieved 2009-10-03.  External link in |work= (help)