Our list of influential Black computer scientists is as diverse as the field of study. These leaders in the field of computer science include educators, computer scientists, rock scientists, computer engineers, and more. These innovators are doing groundbreaking work and advancing the field in areas like biotechnology, healthcare, and aeronautics, helping to prepare the next generation of computer scientists.
For a look at schools that have serveda as the alma mater for Black scholars in every field, check out The Colleges with the Most Influential Black Graduates.
Computer Science is the study of computers and computational systems, dealing primarily with the theory, design, development and application of software and software systems. Computer scientists research, publish, and teach in areas including artificial intelligence, security, human computer interaction, software engineering, and bioinformatics.
An influential organization in the advancement of Black scholars in the field of computer science, The Institute for African-American Mentoring in Computing Sciences, seeks to increase the number of African-Americans receiving doctoral degrees in computing sciences. Prominent African American scholars in the field are working in areas such as test methodology development (Blanton), performance analysis and modeling of parallel, scientific applications (Taylor), database, data science and informatics, human centered computing, information security, and machine learning (Gilbert).
The Black scholars in our list were identified as highly cited and searched people using our machine-powered Influence Ranking algorithm, which produces a numerical score of academic achievements, merits, and citations across Wikipedia, wikidata, Crossref, Semantic Scholar and an ever-growing body of data.
Influence is dynamic, therefore some of the conmputer scientists listed are contemporary scholars while others may be more historical figures. In either case, according to our AI, these are the most cited and searched Black scholars in computer science over the past 30 years.
Find out more about our Methodology.
List is arranged alphabetically
Robert Bell is a principal member of the technical staff at AT&T Labs—Research. His research interests are survey research methods and statistical learning methods. He received a PhD in statistics from Stanford University. Bell is a member of the American Statistical Association and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics.
Shawn Blanton is a professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Carnegie Mellon University. In 1995, he received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His research interests include various aspects of integrated system tests, testable design, and test methodology development. He has consulted for various companies, and is the founder of TestWorks, a Carnegie Mellon University spinout focused on information extraction from IC test data. Blanton is a founding member of the Security Assurance of Fabricated Electronics Center, established to complement the world-class expertise in architectural and software security and privacy housed within Carnegie Mellon University’s CyLab.
He received the CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation in 1997, and IBM Faculty Partnership Awards in 2005 and 2006. He has given more than 100 talks at many universities and companies, including Stanford, Yale, Texas A&M, Duke, Purdue, Intel, AMD, Qualcomm, IBM, Delphi, Hewlett Packard, CISCO, Texas Instruments, Analog Devices, Freescale, Motorola and Nvidia. He has served on various technical program committees that include the IEEE/ACM Design Automation Conference, IEEE VLSI Test Symposium, IEEE/ACM International Conference on Computer-Aided Design, and the International Test Conference, and served as an associate editor for the IEEE Transactions on CAD. He has published more than 100 refereed conference and journal papers and has seven U.S. patents or patent applications filed. He is a fellow of the IEEE and senior member of the ACM and served as the program chair for the 2011 International Test Conference.
This list is far from exhaustive; if you have a suggestion for someone to add, please contact us.
For more famous Black scholars in other fields of study, visit our Influential Black Scholars page. If you want more in computer science, visit our Computer Science page to find more influentiual computer scientists, top colleges and universities for computer science, and more.
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