Donald Knuth
2007 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: Computing People
Photographed by Jacob Appelbaum, 25 October 2005 

Born  10 January 1938 Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA 

Residence  USA 
Nationality  US 
Field  Computer Scientist 
Institution  Stanford University 
Alma Mater  Case Institute of Technology California Institute of Technology 
Doctoral Advisor  Marshall Hall, Jr. 
Doctoral Students  Vaughan Pratt Robert Sedgewick Jeffrey Vitter 
Known for  TeX The Art of Computer Programming 
Notable Prizes  John von Neumann Medal (1995) 
Religion  Lutheran 
Donald Ervin Knuth ([knuːθ], born January 10, 1938) is a renowned computer scientist and professor emeritus at Stanford University.
Knuth is best known as the author of the multivolume The Art of Computer Programming , one of the most highly respected references in the computer science field. He practically created the field of rigorous analysis of algorithms, and made many seminal contributions to several branches of theoretical computer science. He is also the creator of the TeX typesetting system and of the METAFONT font design system, and pioneered the concept of literate programming.
Education and academic work
Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he received his bachelor's degree and master's degree in mathematics (simultaneously, his B.S. work being regarded as deserving a masters degree) in 1960 at the Case Institute of Technology (now part of Case Western Reserve University). In 1963, he earned a Ph.D. in mathematics from the California Institute of Technology, where he became a professor and began work on The Art of Computer Programming, originally planned as a sevenvolume series. In 1968, he published the first volume. That same year, he joined the faculty of Stanford University.
In 1971, Knuth was the recipient of the first ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award. He has received various other awards including the Turing Award, the National Medal of Science, the John von Neumann Medal and the Kyoto Prize. After producing the third volume of his series in 1976, he expressed such frustration with the nascent state of the then newly developed electronic publishing tools (esp. those which provided input to phototypesetters) that he took time out to work on typesetting and created the TeX and METAFONT tools.
In recognition of Knuth's contributions to the field of computer science, in 1990 he was awarded the singular academic title of Professor of the Art of Computer Programming, which has since been revised to Professor Emeritus of the Art of Computer Programming.
In 1992 he became an associate of the French Academy of Sciences. Also that year, he retired from regular research and teaching at Stanford University in order to finish The Art of Computer Programming. In 2003 he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society. As of 2004, the first three volumes of his series have been reissued, and Knuth is currently working on volume four, excerpts of which are released periodically on his website. Meanwhile, Knuth gives informal lectures a few times a year at Stanford University, which he calls Computer Musings. He is also a visiting professor at the Oxford University Computing Laboratory in the United Kingdom.
In addition to his writings on computer science, Knuth is also the author of 3:16 Bible Texts Illuminated (1991), ISBN 0895792524, in which he attempts to examine the Bible by a process of stratified random sampling, namely an analysis of chapter 3, verse 16 of each book. Each verse is accompanied by a rendering in calligraphic art, contributed by a group of calligraphers under the leadership of Hermann Zapf.
Knuth's humor
Knuth is a famous programmer known for his geek professional humor.
 He pays a finder's fee of $2.56 for any typos/mistakes discovered in his books, because "256 pennies is one hexadecimal dollar". (His bounty for errata in 3:16 Bible Texts Illuminated, is, however, $3.16). According to an article in MIT's Technology Review, these reward checks are "among computerdom's most prized trophies".
 Version numbers of his TeX software approach the transcendental number π, that is versions increment in the style 3, 3.1, 3.14 and so on. Version numbers of Metafont approach the number e similarly.
 He once warned users of his software, "Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it."
 All appendices in the Computers and Typesetting series have titles that begin with the letter identifying the appendix.
 TAOCP v3 (1973) has the index entry "Royalties, use of, 405". Page 405 has no explicit mention of royalties, but does contain a diagram of an "organpipe arrangement" in Figure 2. Apparently the purchase of the pipe organ in his home (see Personal below) was financed by royalties from TAOCP.
 From the Preface of Concrete Mathematics: When DEK taught Concrete Mathematics at Stanford for the first time, he explained the somewhat strange title by saying that it was his attempt to teach a math course that was hard instead of soft. He announced that, contrary to the expectations of some of his colleagues, he was not going to teach the Theory of Aggregates, nor Stone's Embedding Theorem, nor even the StoneČech compactification. (Several students from the civil engineering department got up and quietly left the room.)
 Knuth published his first "scientific" article in a school magazine in 1957 under the title " Potrzebie System of Weights and Measures." In it, he defined the fundamental unit of length as the thickness of MAD magazine #26, and named the fundamental unit of force "whatmeworry". MAD magazine bought the article and published it in the June 1957 issue.
 Knuth's first "mathematical" article was a short paper submitted to a "science talent search" contest for highschool seniors in 1955, and published in 1960, in which he discussed number systems where the radix was negative. He further generalized this to number systems where the radix was a complex number. In particular, he defined the quaterimaginary number system, which uses the imaginary number 2i as the base, having the unusual feature that every complex number can be represented with the digits 0, 1, 2, and 3, without a sign.
 Knuth's article about computational complexity of songs was reprinted twice in computer science journals.
Personal
Knuth's hobbies include music, specifically playing the organ. He has a pipe organ installed in his home. Knuth disclaims any particular talent in the instrument.
He does not use email, saying that he used it from about 1975 until January 1, 1990, and that was enough for one lifetime. He finds it more efficient to respond to correspondence in "batch mode", such as one day every three months, to be sent by postal mail.
He is married to Jill Knuth, who published a book on liturgy titled Banner without Words, published by Resource Publications in 1986. They have two children.
He is a member of Theta Chi fraternity.
Knuth uses the Emacs text editor.
Awards
 First ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award  1971
 Turing Award  1974
 National Medal of Science  1979
 John von Neumann Medal  1995
 Kyoto Prize  1996
He also has a Chinese name 高德納 ( pinyin: Gāo Dénà), given in 1977 by Frances Yao just before his first visit to China.
Works
A short list of his works:
 Donald E. Knuth, The Art of Computer Programming, Volumes 1–4, AddisonWesley Professional
 Volume 1: Fundamental Algorithms (3rd edition), 1997. AddisonWesley Professional, ISBN 0201896834
 Volume 2: Seminumerical Algorithms (3rd Edition), 1997. AddisonWesley Professional, ISBN 0201896842
 Volume 3: Sorting and Searching (2nd Edition), 1998. AddisonWesley Professional, ISBN 0201896850
 Volume 4: Combinatorial Algorithms, in preparation
 Volume 5: Syntactic Algorithms, in preparation, estimated to be ready in 2015
 Donald E. Knuth, The Art of Computer Programming, fascicles:
 Volume 1, Fascicle 1: MMIX — A RISC Computer for the New Millennium, 2005. ISBN 0201853922
 Volume 4, Fascicle 2: Generating All Tuples and Permutations, 2005. ISBN 0201853930
 Volume 4, Fascicle 3: Generating All Combinations and Partitions, 2005. ISBN 0201853949
 Volume 4, Fascicle 4: Generating All Trees  History of Combinatorial Generation, 2006. ISBN 0321335708
 Donald E. Knuth, The TeXbook (Reading, Massachusetts: AddisonWesley), 1984. ISBN 0201134489
 Donald E. Knuth, The METAFONTbook (Reading, Massachusetts: AddisonWesley), 1986. ISBN 0201134446
 Ronald L. Graham, Donald E. Knuth, Oren Patashnik, Concrete Mathematics: A Foundation for Computer Science, 2nd edition (Reading, Massachusetts: AddisonWesley), 1994. ISBN 0201558025
 Selected papers series:
 Donald E. Knuth, Literate Programming (Centre for the Study of Language and Information  Lecture Notes), 1992. ISBN 0937073806
 Donald E. Knuth, Selected Papers on Computer Science (Stanford, California: Centre for the Study of Language and Information  CSLI Lecture Notes, no. 59), 1996. ISBN 1881526917
 Donald E. Knuth, Digital Typography (Stanford, California: Centre for the Study of Language and Information  CSLI Lecture Notes, no. 78), 1999. ISBN 1575860104
 Donald E. Knuth, Selected Papers on Analysis of Algorithms (Stanford, California: Centre for the Study of Language and Information  CSLI Lecture Notes, no. 102), 2000. ISBN 1575862123
 Donald E. Knuth, Selected Papers on Computer Languages (Stanford, California: Centre for the Study of Language and Information  CSLI Lecture Notes, no. 139), 2003. ISBN 1575863812 (cloth), ISBN 1575863820 (paperback)
 Donald E. Knuth, Selected Papers on Discrete Mathematics (Stanford, California: Centre for the Study of Language and Information  CSLI Lecture Notes, no. 106), 2003. ISBN 1575862492 (cloth), ISBN 1575862484 (paperback)
 Donald E. Knuth, Selected Papers on Design of Algorithms (scheduled for publication in 2007)
 Donald E. Knuth, Selected Papers on Fun and Games (scheduled for publication in 2007)
 Donald E. Knuth, 3:16 Bible Texts Illuminated (Madison, Wisconsin: AR Editions), 1990. ISBN 0895792524
 Donald E. Knuth, Things a Computer Scientist Rarely Talks About (Centre for the Study of Language and Information  CSLI Lecture Notes no 136), 2001. ISBN 157586326X
Interviews, lectures, Q&A
 Doernberg, D. Computer Literacy Interview With Donald Knuth. 7 December 1993.
 TUG'95 (St Petersburg, FL, USA) Questions and answers with Prof. Donald E. Knuth. TUGboat 17 (1), 1996
 Woehr, J. An interview with Donald Knuth Dr. Dobb's Journal, April 1996, p. 1622.
 Donald Knuth on The Art of Computer Programming AddisonWesley Innovations, 1996
 Questions and Answers with Prof. Donald E. Knuth. Czech TUG, Charles University, Prague, 1996
 Knuth meets NTG members, Amsterdam, 13 March 1996.
 Knuth Comments on Code, Byte magazine, September 1996.
 Donald Knuth: A life's work in the art of programming Amazon.com, 1997.
 U.K. TUG, Oxford, 12 September 1999: Question & Answer Session with Donald Knuth. TUGboat, 22 (1/2), 2001.
 Dr. Dobb's Audio & Video Archive of Knuth's MMIX and God & Computers Lectures @ MIT, Fall 1999
 Donald Knuth: MMIX, A RISC Computer for the New Millennium. Audio recording of a presetation at the monthly meeting of the Boston ACM 30 December 1999
 Wallace, Mark. The art of Don E. Knuth Interview on salon.com, 1999.
 Advogato, 2000, also available as HTML Version
 AMS, 2001
 Geek Celebs, 2001
 Oslo, 2002
 c't, 2002 (in German)
 NZZ Folio, 2002 (in German)
 Donald Knuth, Founding Artist of Computer Science. Audio interview by David Kestenbaum on National Public Radio; or Transcript, 14 March 2005.
 Free Software Magazine interview by Gianluca Pignalberi, August 2005.