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List of the most influential people in Computer Science, for the years 1970 – 2020

Computer Science, 1950-2000

By Erik J. Larson

Unlike many other academic disciplines, the story of Computer Science from 1950 to 2000 is, arguably, the story of the launching and developing of the field itself. British mathematician and code breaker Alan Turing wrote the seminal paper for Artificial Intelligence (though term wasn’t coined for a few more years) in 1950 with the publication in the journal Mind of his “Computing Machinery and Intelligence,” where he first introduced in writing his idea of the Imitation Game for computers and people, or what is now known as the eponymous Turing test.

In the 1940s, the world’s first computer, the ENIAC, was built by John Von Neumann, John Mauchly, J.P. Eckert and others, but in that decade what we think of as “computer science” did not really exist yet. Computer programming techniques and algorithms exploded in the 1950s, and with Turing’s publication of “Computing Machinery and Intelligence” at the beginning of the new decade, computer science quickly became synonymous with programming machines to do intelligent things.

Computer science (and soon Artificial Intelligence) grew rapidly as a field distinct from electrical engineering or pure mathematics, focused instead on building, studying, and programming computers. Computer scientists had a new tool—both practical and theoretic—and sought more powerful hardware and software in the decades that followed. Perhaps more than any other field in recent history, Computer Science transformed the modern world.

Computers in the 1950s were massive, refrigerator (or larger) sized devices that computed the results of programs input by punch cards, using at first vacuum tubes or (even worse) electromechanical switches to perform their operations. They were slow, noisy, and required massive amounts of manual preparation and work to maintain and use. New hardware was needed. Fortunately, a group of physicists led by the mercurially tempered William Shockley developed the microchip—the world’s first semiconductor (made first of germanium, then silicon as still today) computer hardware that contained all the instructions in a computer, etched into a single medium. Microchips drastically reduced the size of computers while increasing their memory and processing power.

By the 1960s, computers using microchips were using early full-featured languages (like FORTRAN or COBOL, the latter developed in part by Grace Hopper, who helped program the first computer, the ENIAC—and later EDVAC). Computers went into the noses of rockets in the Cold War, transformed business and government by facilitating rapid calculation of large numerical datasets (like census bureaus, taxes, and sales projections), and made possible the navigation of a manned vehicle to the moon.

By the 1970s, “Silicon Valley” was replete with big computer companies like Intel as well as a growing number of startups launched by entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, who saw the future of computer science not just as the use of computing machinery by large companies and government but by individuals, using what came to be called Personal Computers, or PCs. Computer science departments by the 1970s were ubiquitous in colleges and universities not just in the United States but around the world. Data structures and algorithms remained the core curriculum (the study of how information is stored and manipulated by digital computers), but the tidal wave of innovation stemming from the rise of computers in the mid to late 20th century meant that new classes appeared seemingly overnight. Computer security became an issue, as networks linked computers together with analog and digital lines, making remote break-ins and hacks a possibility (and then a real threat).

The Internet came online in the late 1960s and expanded in the 1970s to include more “hubs,” or centers where traffic could pass through, like the University of Utah. Digital networking thus became a core part of computer science. And, too, Artificial Intelligence continued its exploration of intelligent programming by successes in games—first checkers (in the 1950s), then chess (finally dominated by computers in the 1990s). In truth, AI research in Computer Science ran into many problems, but the study of computing remained a juggernaut that kept transforming how we live, work, and interact.

If the 1980s were the era of the PC, with Microsoft and Apple offering PCs with their proprietary operating systems and software (and computer scientists using either machines to do their work), the 1990s was the era of the World Wide Web. British physicist Tim Berners-Lee invented a markup language, called “HyperText Markup Language,” or HTML, and also helped develop the world’s first Web browser, with Mosaic. The Web began simply enough with Berners-Lee’s innovations, but by 1995 had become commercial, with Netscape and soon Yahoo launching commercial websites intended to capitalize on the promise of new innovations emerging from around the world in computer science. The rest, as they say, is history.

By the turn of the century, computer science was among the most powerful and popular academic subjects around the world. Students flocked to computer science departments to learn the theories and tools of a new age. And, too, by the turn of the century, the availability of massive datasets from the explosion of web pages on the World Wide Web meant that computer scientists, entrepreneurs, and indeed everyone would need strategies for storing, analyzing, and manipulating truly gargantuan quantities of digital information. This led the way to yet more innovation (and challenges) in the decades after 2000.

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Donald Knuth
# 1
Donald Knuth

1938 - Present (83 years)

#688 person's overall influence

Knuth is professor emeritus of computer science at Stanford University. He received his Ph.D. in Mathematics at the California Institute of Technology (Cal Tech). As an undergraduate at the Case Institute of Technology (now Case Western Reserve University), Knuth received the extraordinary honor of receiving his bachelor of science degree together with a master of science in mathematics based on the strength of his work at Case. He also helped redesign an early IBM computer while at Case, and made fundamental contributions to programming—writing a program to help predict the scores of basketba...

Bill Gates
# 2
Bill Gates

1955 - Present (66 years)

#80 person's overall influence

William Henry Gates III is an American business magnate, software developer, and philanthropist. He is best known as the co-founder of Microsoft Corporation. During his career at Microsoft, Gates held the positions of chairman, chief executive officer , president and chief software architect, while also being the largest individual shareholder until May 2014. He is one of the best-known entrepreneurs and pioneers of the microcomputer revolution of the 1970s and 1980s.

Randy Pausch
# 3
Randy Pausch

1960 - 2008 (48 years)

#2580 person's overall influence

Randolph Frederick Pausch was an American educator, a professor of computer science, human–computer interaction, and design at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Tony Hoare
# 4
Tony Hoare

1934 - Present (87 years)

#2272 person's overall influence

Sir Charles Antony Richard Hoare is a British computer scientist. He developed the sorting algorithm quicksort in 1959–1960. He also developed Hoare logic for verifying program correctness, and the formal language communicating sequential processes to specify the interactions of concurrent processeses and the inspiration for the programming language occam.

Steve Jobs
# 5
Steve Jobs

1955 - 2011 (56 years)

#245 person's overall influence

Steven Paul Jobs was an American business magnate, industrial designer, investor, and media proprietor. He was the chairman, chief executive officer , and co-founder of Apple Inc., the chairman and majority shareholder of Pixar, a member of The Walt Disney Company's board of directors following its acquisition of Pixar, and the founder, chairman, and CEO of NeXT. Jobs is widely recognized as a pioneer of the personal computer revolution of the 1970s and 1980s, along with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

Peter J. Denning
# 6
Peter J. Denning

1942 - Present (79 years)

#2920 person's overall influence

Peter James Denning is an American computer scientist and writer. He is best known for pioneering work in virtual memory, especially for inventing the working-set model for program behavior, which addressed thrashing in operating systems and became the reference standard for all memory management policies. He is also known for his works on principles of operating systems, operational analysis of queueing network systems, design and implementation of CSNET, the ACM digital library, codifying the great principles of computing, and most recently for the book The Innovator's Way, on innovation a...

Marvin Minsky
# 7
Marvin Minsky

1927 - 2016 (89 years)

#617 person's overall influence

Marvin Lee Minsky was an American cognitive and computer scientist concerned largely with research of artificial intelligence , co-founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's AI laboratory, and author of several texts concerning AI and philosophy.

Tim Berners-Lee
# 8
Tim Berners-Lee

1955 - Present (66 years)

#409 person's overall influence

Tim Berners-Lee (also called “TimBL” or “TBL”) is a Professorial Fellow of Computer Science at the University of Oxford and a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Berners-Lee is best known for inventing a markup language, the Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) that has (of course) become the basis for Web pages. In a very real sense, Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web! And more. In 2016, Berners-Lee received the prestigious Turing Award for “for inventing the World Wide Web, the first web browser, and the fundamental protocols and algorithms allowing the Web to sc...

David Parnas
# 9
David Parnas

1941 - Present (80 years)

#2588 person's overall influence

Parnas earned his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. He has taught as a professor at numerous universities, including the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Victoria in Canada, and the University of Limerick in Ireland.

Claude Shannon
# 10
Claude Shannon

1916 - 2001 (85 years)

#312 person's overall influence

Claude Elwood Shannon was an American mathematician, electrical engineer, and cryptographer known as "the father of information theory". Shannon is noted for having founded information theory with a landmark paper, "A Mathematical Theory of Communication", which he published in 1948.

Edsger W. Dijkstra
# 11
Edsger W. Dijkstra

1930 - 2002 (72 years)

#3753 person's overall influence

Edsger Wybe Dijkstra was a Dutch computer scientist, programmer, software engineer, systems scientist, science essayist, and pioneer in computing science. A theoretical physicist by training, he worked as a programmer at the Mathematisch Centrum 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 and a research fellow at the Burroughs Corporation . In 1972, he ...

Leslie Lamport
# 12
Leslie Lamport

1941 - Present (80 years)

#4659 person's overall influence

Leslie B. Lamport is an American computer scientist. Lamport is best known for his seminal work in distributed systems, and as the initial developer of the document preparation system LaTeX and the author of its first manual. Leslie Lamport was the winner of the 2013 Turing Award for imposing clear, well-defined coherence on the seemingly chaotic behavior of distributed computing systems, in which several autonomous computers communicate with each other by passing messages. He devised important algorithms and developed formal modeling and verification protocols that improve the quality of rea

Manuel Blum
# 13
Manuel Blum

1938 - Present (83 years)

#2971 person's overall influence

Manuel Blum is the Bruce Nelson Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. Born in Venezuela, Blum has had an impressive career working on the theoretical underpinnings of programming and algorithms, notably computational complexity theory (roughly, how long it takes a program to solve a problem), cryptography (code making and breaking), and program verification and checking, an area of immense importance to practical software development.

Christos Papadimitriou
# 14
Christos Papadimitriou

1949 - Present (72 years)

#9521 person's overall influence

Christos Harilaos Papadimitriou is a Greek theoretical computer scientist and the Donovan Family Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University.

John McCarthy
# 15
John McCarthy

1927 - 2011 (84 years)

#2504 person's overall influence

John McCarthy was an American computer scientist and cognitive scientist. McCarthy was one of the founders of the discipline of artificial intelligence. He co-authored the document that coined the term "artificial intelligence" , developed the Lisp programming language family, significantly influenced the design of the ALGOL programming language, popularized time-sharing, invented garbage collection, and was very influential in the early development of AI.

Mark Zuckerberg
# 16
Mark Zuckerberg

1984 - Present (37 years)

#308 person's overall influence

Mark Elliot Zuckerberg is an American media magnate, internet entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He is known for co-founding Facebook, Inc. and serves as its chairman, chief executive officer, and controlling shareholder. He also is a co-founder of the solar sail spacecraft development project Breakthrough Starshot and serves as one of its board members.

Peter Naur
# 17
Peter Naur

1928 - 2016 (88 years)

#4771 person's overall influence

Peter Naur was a Danish computer science pioneer and Turing award winner. He is best known as a contributor, with John Backus, to the Backus–Naur form notation used in describing the syntax for most programming languages. He also contributed to creating the language ALGOL 60.

Allen Newell
# 18
Allen Newell

1927 - 1992 (65 years)

#1979 person's overall influence

Allen Newell was a researcher in computer science and cognitive psychology at the RAND Corporation and at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science, Tepper School of Business, and Department of Psychology. He contributed to the Information Processing Language and two of the earliest AI programs, the Logic Theory Machine and the General Problem Solver . He was awarded the ACM's A.M. Turing Award along with Herbert A. Simon in 1975 for their basic contributions to artificial intelligence and the psychology of human cognition.

Seymour Papert
# 19
Seymour Papert

1928 - 2016 (88 years)

#2283 person's overall influence

Seymour Aubrey Papert was a South African-born American mathematician, computer scientist, and educator, who spent most of his career teaching and researching at MIT. He was one of the pioneers of artificial intelligence, and of the constructionist movement in education. He was co-inventor, with Wally Feurzeig and Cynthia Solomon, of the Logo programming language.

Richard Stallman
# 20
Richard Stallman

1953 - Present (68 years)

#948 person's overall influence

Richard Matthew Stallman , often known by his initials, rms, and occasionally upper-case RMS, is an American free software movement activist and programmer. He campaigns for software to be distributed in a manner such that its users receive the freedoms to use, study, distribute, and modify that software. Software that ensures these freedoms is termed free software. Stallman launched the GNU Project, founded the Free Software Foundation, developed the GNU Compiler Collection and GNU Emacs, and wrote the GNU General Public License.

Gerald Jay Sussman
# 21
Gerald Jay Sussman

1947 - Present (74 years)

#7013 person's overall influence

Gerald Jay Sussman is the Panasonic Professor of Electrical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He earned an S.B. and Ph.D. in mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, studying under Seymour Papert.

Douglas Hofstadter
# 22
Douglas Hofstadter

1945 - Present (76 years)

#885 person's overall influence

Douglas Richard Hofstadter is an American scholar of cognitive science, physics, and comparative literature whose research includes concepts such as the sense of self in relation to the external world, consciousness, analogy-making, artistic creation, literary translation, and discovery in mathematics and physics. His 1979 book Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid won both the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction and a National Book Award for Science. His 2007 book I Am a Strange Loop won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Science and Technology.

Dennis M. Ritchie
# 23
Dennis M. Ritchie

1941 - 2011 (70 years)

#5716 person's overall influence

Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie was an American computer scientist. He created the C programming language and, with long-time colleague Ken Thompson, the Unix operating system and B programming language. Ritchie and Thompson were awarded the Turing Award from the ACM in 1983, the Hamming Medal from the IEEE in 1990 and the National Medal of Technology from President Bill Clinton in 1999. Ritchie was the head of Lucent Technologies System Software Research Department when he retired in 2007. He was the "R" in K&R C, and commonly known by his username dmr.

Anita Borg
# 24
Anita Borg

1949 - 2003 (54 years)

#9295 person's overall influence

Anita Borg was an American computer scientist. She founded the Institute for Women and Technology and the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing.

Linus Torvalds
# 25
Linus Torvalds

1969 - Present (52 years)

#2538 person's overall influence

Torvalds is world-famous for designing and developing the open-source Linux operating system. Born in Finland, Torvalds attended the University of Helsinki and received his master’s in Computer Science in 1996. Torvalds academic pursuits were temporarily suspended upon joining the Finnish Army, where he held the rank of Second Lieutenant. After his service, he began conceptualizing a scaled-down version of the massive UNIX operating system, which is still used for computer servers worldwide, and is the basis even for the Android operating system used in smartphones. His brainchild, Linux,

Raj Reddy
# 26
Raj Reddy

1937 - Present (84 years)

#5679 person's overall influence

Reddy is the founding director of the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. The Robotics Institute at CMU is perhaps the world’s best center for robotics research in the world. (Robotics Business Review called it a “pacesetter in robotics research and education” in 2014.) Reddy is the Moza Bint Nasser Chair of Computer Science at CMU, and has been professor of computer science at Stanford during his stellar career of five decades. Reddy has had a major influence on the development of the field of robotics in artificial intelligence.

Alan Kay
# 27
Alan Kay

1940 - Present (81 years)

#2236 person's overall influence

Alan Curtis Kay is an American computer scientist. He has been elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Royal Society of Arts. He is best known for his pioneering work on object-oriented programming and windowing graphical user interface design.

Kurt Mehlhorn
# 28
Kurt Mehlhorn

1949 - Present (72 years)

#16547 person's overall influence

Kurt Mehlhorn is a German theoretical computer scientist. He has been a vice president of the Max Planck Society and is director of the Max Planck Institute for Computer Science.

Ivan Sutherland
# 29
Ivan Sutherland

1938 - Present (83 years)

#3121 person's overall influence

Ivan Edward Sutherland is an American computer scientist and Internet pioneer, widely regarded as a pioneer of computer graphics. His early work in computer graphics as well as his teaching with David C. Evans in that subject at the University of Utah in the 1970s was pioneering in the field. Sutherland, Evans, and their students from that era developed several foundations of modern computer graphics. He received the Turing Award from the Association for Computing Machinery in 1988 for the invention of Sketchpad, an early predecessor to the sort of graphical user interface that has become

Raymond Kurzweil
# 30
Raymond Kurzweil

1948 - Present (73 years)

#685 person's overall influence

Raymond Kurzweil is an American inventor and futurist. He is involved in fields such as optical character recognition , text-to-speech synthesis, speech recognition technology, and electronic keyboard instruments. He has written books on health, artificial intelligence , transhumanism, the technological singularity, and futurism. Kurzweil is a public advocate for the futurist and transhumanist movements and gives public talks to share his optimistic outlook on life extension technologies and the future of nanotechnology, robotics, and biotechnology.

Andrew Y. Ng
# 31
Andrew Y. Ng

1976 - Present (45 years)

#7207 person's overall influence

Andrew Yan-Tak Ng is a British-born American businessman, computer scientist, investor, and writer. He is focusing on machine learning and AI. As a businessman and investor, Ng co-founded and led Google Brain and was a former Vice President and Chief Scientist at Baidu, building the company's Artificial Intelligence Group into a team of several thousand people.

Niklaus Wirth
# 32
Niklaus Wirth

1934 - Present (87 years)

#13152 person's overall influence

Niklaus Emil Wirth is a Swiss computer scientist. He has designed several programming languages, including Pascal, and pioneered several classic topics in software engineering. In 1984 he won the Turing Award, generally recognized as the highest distinction in computer science, for developing a sequence of innovative computer languages.

Ron Rivest
# 33
Ron Rivest

1947 - Present (74 years)

#3619 person's overall influence

Ronald Linn Rivest is a cryptographer and an Institute Professor at MIT. He is a member of MIT's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and a member of MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory . His work has spanned the fields of algorithms and combinatorics, cryptography, machine learning, and election integrity.

Bill Joy
# 34
Bill Joy

1954 - Present (67 years)

#1876 person's overall influence

William Nelson Joy is an American computer engineer and venture capitalist. He co-founded Sun Microsystems in 1982 along with Scott McNealy, Vinod Khosla, and Andy Bechtolsheim, and served as CTO at the company until 2003. He played an integral role in the early development of BSD UNIX while being a graduate student at Berkeley, and he is the original author of the vi text editor. He also wrote the 2000 essay Why The Future Doesn't Need Us, in which he expressed deep concerns over the development of modern technologies.

Sergey Brin
# 35
Sergey Brin

1973 - Present (48 years)

#1788 person's overall influence

Sergey Mikhaylovich Brin is an American software engineer and Internet entrepreneur. Together with Larry Page, he co-founded Google. Brin was the president of Google's parent company, Alphabet Inc., until stepping down from the role on December 3, 2019. Brin and Page remain at Alphabet as co-founders, controlling shareholders, board members, and employees. As of July 2020, Brin is the 7th-richest person in the world, with an estimated net worth of US$67.6 billion.

Nancy Lynch
# 36
Nancy Lynch

1948 - Present (73 years)

#18534 person's overall influence

Nancy Lynch is the head of the Theory of Distributed Systems research group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, a mathematician, theorist and NEC Professor of Software Science and Engineering. She attended Brooklyn College, where she studied mathematics. She went on to earn a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Hal Abelson
# 37
Hal Abelson

1947 - Present (74 years)

#12284 person's overall influence

Hal Abelson is the founding director of Creative Commons and the Free Software Foundation and a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He earned a B.A. from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Larry Page
# 38
Larry Page

1973 - Present (48 years)

#1317 person's overall influence

Lawrence Edward Page is an American software engineer and Internet entrepreneur. He is best known as one of the co-founders of Google along with Sergey Brin.

Karen Petrie
# 39
Karen Petrie

1980 - Present (41 years)

#23751 person's overall influence

Karen Elizabeth Jefferson Petrie was born in the UK. She is currently Reader in the Department of Computing in the School of Science and Engineering at the University of Dundee in Scotland, as well as Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching of the same School.

Thelma Estrin
# 40
Thelma Estrin

1924 - 2014 (90 years)

#4129 person's overall influence

Thelma Estrin was an American computer scientist and engineer who did pioneering work in the fields of expert systems and biomedical engineering. She was one of the first to apply computer technology to healthcare and medical research. She was professor emerita in the Department of Computer Science, University of California at Los Angeles.

Sebastian Thrun
# 41
Sebastian Thrun

1967 - Present (54 years)

#11999 person's overall influence

Sebastian Thrun is an entrepreneur, educator, and computer scientist from Germany. He is CEO of Kitty Hawk Corporation, and chairman and co-founder of Udacity. Before that, he was a Google VP and Fellow, a Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University, and before that at Carnegie Mellon University. At Google, he founded Google X and Google's self-driving car team. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Stanford University and at Georgia Tech.

# 42
Janet Abbate

1962 - Present (59 years)

#20838 person's overall influence

Janet Abbate is an associate professor of science, technology, and society at Virginia Tech. Her research focuses on the history of computer science and the Internet, particularly on the participation of women.

Vint Cerf
# 43
Vint Cerf

1943 - Present (78 years)

#659 person's overall influence

Vinton Grey Cerf is one of the founding fathers of the Internet. He received his degree in mathematics from Stanford University. After a two year stint as an engineer working on QUICKTRAN, an early computer language based on FORTRAN, Cerf received his masters and his Ph.D. in computer science at UCLA.

Stephen Cook
# 44
Stephen Cook

1939 - Present (82 years)

#8170 person's overall influence

Stephen Arthur Cook, is an American-Canadian computer scientist and mathematician who has made major contributions to the fields of complexity theory and proof complexity. He is a university professor at the University of Toronto, Department of Computer Science and Department of Mathematics.

Noam Chomsky
# 45
Noam Chomsky

1928 - Present (93 years)

#40 person's overall influence

Noam Chomsky currently holds joint appointments at MIT as Institute Professor Emeritus, and the University of Arizona as Laureate Professor. Chomsky completed his university studies between the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard.

Larry Constantine
# 46
Larry Constantine

1943 - Present (78 years)

#6832 person's overall influence

Larry LeRoy Constantine is an American software engineer, professor in the Center for Exact Sciences and Engineering at the University of Madeira Portugal, and considered one of the pioneers of computing. He has contributed numerous concepts and techniques forming the foundations of modern practice in software engineering and applications design and development.

Brian Kernighan
# 47
Brian Kernighan

1942 - Present (79 years)

#10594 person's overall influence

Brian Wilson Kernighan is a Canadian computer scientist.

Sue Black
# 48
Sue Black

1962 - Present (59 years)

#25388 person's overall influence

Susan Elizabeth Black is a British computer scientist, academic and social entrepreneur. She has been instrumental in saving Bletchley Park, the site of World War II codebreaking, with her Saving Bletchley Park campaign. Since 2018, she has been Professor of Computer Science and Technology Evangelist at Durham University. She was previously based at the University of Westminster and University College London.

Wendy Hall
# 49
Wendy Hall

1952 - Present (69 years)

#6099 person's overall influence

Hall is Regius Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton in the UK. She received her bachelor’s and Ph.D. in Mathematics at Southampton. She also has a master’s degree in Computing at City University in London.

Zvi Galil
# 50
Zvi Galil

1947 - Present (74 years)

#13560 person's overall influence

Zvi Galil is a computer scientist and mathematician who is the former dean of the Georgia Institute of Technology College of Computing. He earned a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in applied mathematics from Tel Aviv University (where he eventually served as president). He went on to earn a Ph.D. in computer science from Cornell University.