Bjarne Stroustrup: Computer wizard and creator of C++ language
Born in a working class family in Aarhus, Denmark, on December 30, 1950, Stroustrup received early education in local schools. In 1969, he joined Aarhus University and graduated with master’s degree in mathematics and computer science in 1975. Interested in microprogramming and machine architecture, he learned the fundamentals of object-oriented programming from its inventor, Norwegian computer scientist Kristen Nygaard. In 1979, he received PhD in computer science from the University of Cambridge, UK. He is an honorary professor at Aarhus University and an honorary fellow of Churchill College.
In 1979, Stroustrup began his career with the Computer Science Research Center of Bell Labs in Murray Hill, New Jersey, USA, where he began work on C++ and programming techniques.
He headed AT&T Bell Labs’ large-scale programming research department since its creation until late 2002. In 1993, he was made a Bell Lab’s fellow and in 1996, an AT&T Fellow. He is also associated with AT&T Labs – Research and is a member of its Information and Systems Software Research Lab. He works as a visiting faculty in the Computer Science Department of Columbia University and is also a member of the US National Academy of Engineering (NAE), and fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).
In 1979, he began developing C++ (initially called C with Classes). C++ is a language for defining and using light-weight abstractions. It has significant strengths in areas where hardware must be handled effectively and there is considerable complexity to cope with. C++ was made available in 1985. In the same year, he also published a textbook titled The C++ Programming Language.
Stroustrup documented his principles guiding the design of C++ and evolution of the language in his 1994 book The Design and Evolution of C++ and two papers for ACM’s History of Programming Languages conferences.
Personal life and legacy
Stroustrup lives in New York with his wife. Their daughter is a medical doctor and son a research professor in systems biology.
Apart from research, he is interested in light literature, general history, travelling, music, photography, and hiking and running. He was elected as the member of the NAE in 2004.
Stroustrup has received numerous honours including the William Procter Prize for Scientific Achievement in 2005, Computer Entrepreneur Award by IEEE in 2004, ACM’s Grace Murray Hopper Award (1993), the 2018 Charles Stark Draper Prize from US National Academy of Engineering (NAE), the Grace Murray Hopper Award (1993), the 2017 IET Faraday Medal and Dr. Dobb’s Excellence in Programming award (2008).
He received fellowships from the ACM and IEEE and was elected member of the NAE. In 2013, he was elected to the Electronic Design Hall of Fame.
Stroustrup has authored a large number of books such as A Tour of C++, Programming: Principles and Practice Using C++, The C++ Programming Language, and The Design and Evolution of C++.
He was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University Carlos III, Spain in 2019.
Source: Wikipedia, stroustrup.com, computerhistory.org
1. In 2013, he received the Golden Abacus Award from Upsilon Pi Epsilon that is given to one who has gained professional fame and provided support and leadership in computing and information disciplines.
2. In 1990, Bjarne Stroustrup was named one of America’s 12 top young scientists by Fortune Magazine. Its recipients include Claude Shannon, mathematician, engineer and cryptographer.
3. He applied programming techniques in areas like general systems programming, switching, simulation, graphics, user-interfaces, embedded systems and scientific computation.
4. Stroustrup was made a Fellow of the Computer History Museum in 2015. His book titled The C++ Programming Language was translated into 19 languages and is one of the most widely read books of its kind.
5. In 2018, he received the John Scott Legacy Medal and Premium from The Franklin Institute and the City Council of Philadelphia. It is the second oldest US award for scientific accomplishments.
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