Knuth, Donald Ervin

Knuth, Donald Ervin

(no͞oth, kəno͞oth`), 1938–, American mathematician and computer scientist, b. Milwaukee, Wis., grad. Case Institute of Technology (B.S. and M.S., 1960) and California Institute of Technology (Ph.D., 1963). While still a graduate student, Knuth was contracted to write a book about the construction of computer compilers (see programming languageprogramming language,
syntax, grammar, and symbols or words used to give instructions to a computer. Development of Low-Level Languages

All computers operate by following machine language programs, a long sequence of instructions called machine code that is
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). What he wrote instead turned into his monumental series The Art of Computer Programming (3 vol., 1968–), an overview of programming algorithms, each described with mathematical rigor, that has been translated into six languages. Disappointed with the state of computer typesetting, Knuth developed a typesetting program that has become the standard for mathematics and physics. He taught at the California Institute of Technology from 1962 until 1968, when he joined the faculty at Stanford Univ., becoming professor emeritus in 1993. His writings include Surreal Numbers (1974), Literate Programming (1992), and Digital Typography (1999).