Portal:Edsger Dijkstra

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Introduction

Dijkstra in 2002

Edsger Wybe Dijkstra (/ˈdkstrə/; Dutch: [ˈɛtsxər ˈʋibə ˈdɛikstra] (About this soundlisten); 11 May 1930 – 6 August 2002) was a Dutch systems scientist, programmer, software engineer, science essayist, and pioneer in computing science. A theoretical physicist by training, he worked as a programmer at the Mathematisch Centrum (Amsterdam) from 1952 to 1962. A university professor for much of his life, Dijkstra held the Schlumberger Centennial Chair in Computer Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin from 1984 until his retirement in 1999. He was a professor of mathematics at the Eindhoven University of Technology (1962–1984) and a research fellow at the Burroughs Corporation (1973–1984).

One of the most influential figures of computing science's founding generation, Dijkstra helped shape the new discipline from both an engineering and a theoretical perspective. His fundamental contributions cover diverse areas of computing science, including compiler construction, operating systems, distributed systems, sequential and concurrent programming, programming paradigm and methodology, programming language research, program design, program development, program verification, software engineering principles, graph algorithms, and philosophical foundations of computer programming and computer science. Many of his papers are the source of new research areas. Several concepts and problems that are now standard in computer science were first identified by Dijkstra or bear names coined by him. As a foremost opponent of the mechanizing view of computing science, he refuted the use of the concepts of 'computer science' and 'software engineering' as umbrella terms for academic disciplines.

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