Who is Edsger Dijkstra?

Edsger Wybe Dijkstra was born in Rotterdam, Holland on May 11, 1930. He studied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the University of Leyden and consequently became the first ever person on payroll as programmer at the Mathematical Center in Amsterdam.

Edsger Wybe Dijkstra was one of the most influential members of computer science's founding generation and received the 1972 Turing Award for fundamental contributions to developing programming languages. Some of his other major scientific contributions are algorithm design, programming languages, program design, operating systems, distributed processing, formal specification and verification, and design of mathematical arguments. He is the author of the shortest path-algorithm, also known as Dijkstra's algorithm.

Edsger Dijkstra was the Schlumberger Centennial Chair of Computer Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin from 1984 until 2000. He died on August 6, 2002 after a long struggle with cancer.

Famous quotes from Edsger Dijkstra:

"The question of whether a computer can think is no more interesting than the question of whether a submarine can swim."

"Computer Science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes."

"Testing shows the presence, not the absence of bugs."

"When we had no computers, we had no programming problem either. When we had a few computers, we had a mild programming problem. Confronted with machines a million times as powerful, we are faced with a gigantic programming problem."

"The major cause [of the software crisis] is that the machines have become several orders of magnitude more powerful! To put it quite bluntly: as long as there were no machines, programming was no problem at all; when we had a few weak computers, programming became a mild problem, and now we have gigantic computers, programming has become an equally gigantic problem. In this sense the electronic industry has not solved a single problem, it has only created them, it has created the problem of using its products."

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