John McCarthy

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McCarthy, John

(1927–  ) mathematician, computer specialist; born in Boston, Mass. He was affiliated with Dartmouth (1955–58), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1958–62), and Stanford (1962). He is considered one of the fathers of artificial intelligence, having developed the programming language LISP (1958–62), and he helped develop ALGOL. He also did early work in robotics (1969).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

McCarthy, John


Born Sept. 4, 1927, in Boston. American scientist; specialist in computer theory, mathematical logic, computer programming languages, and the artificial intellect.

In 1948, McCarthy graduated from the California Institute of Technology. He worked at research and educational centers at Princeton, Dartmouth, and Stanford and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1962 he became a professor at Stanford University. He is the author of one of the programming languages (LISP) that is used in solving a number of complex problems on computers. He is a member of numerous scientific associations involved with computer theory and methods of computation.


LISP 1.5 Programmer’s Manual, 2nd ed. Cambridge, Mass., 1966. (Coauthor.)
In Russian translation:
“Obrashchenie funktsii, opredeliaemykh mashinami T’iuringa.” In the collection Avtomaty. Moscow, 1956.


Vychislitel’nye mashiny i myshlenie. Moscow, 1967. (Translated from English.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

John McCarthy

(person, artificial intelligence)
A pioneer of artificial intelligence (he coined ther term). He invented Lisp at MIT in the late 1950s and later worked at SAIL.

E-mail: <>.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (
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