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Encyclopedia > Edsger Dijkstra
Edsger Dijkstra
Edsger Dijkstra

Edsger Wybe Dijkstra (Rotterdam, May 11, 1930Nuenen, August 6, 2002; IPA: ˈɛtˌsxər ˈdɛɪkˌstra) was a Dutch computer scientist. He received the 1972 A. M. Turing Award for fundamental contributions in the area of programming languages, and was the Schlumberger Centennial Chair of Computer Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin from 1984 until his death in 2002. Shortly before his death, he received the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) PODC Influential paper award in distributed computing for his paper that started the subarea of Self-stabilization. This annual award was renamed the ACM Edsger W. Dijkstra award shortly after Dijkstra's death. Image File history File links Edsger_Dijkstra_large. ... Image File history File links Edsger_Dijkstra_large. ... Rotterdam Location Coat of arms The coat of arms reads Sterker door strijd, i. ... May 11 is the 131st day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (132nd in leap years). ... 1930 (MCMXXX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link is to a full 1930 calendar). ... Nuenen, Gerwen en Nederwetten is a municipality consisting of the larger village of Nuenen and two adjacent smaller ones. ... August 6 is the 218th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (219th in leap years), with 147 days remaining. ... For album titles with the same name, see 2002 (album). ... Symbols of the International Phonetic Alphabet as used for English. ... Computer science (informally: CS or compsci) is, in its most general sense, the study of computation and information processing, both in hardware and in software. ... The A.M. Turing Award is given annually by the Association for Computing Machinery to a person selected for contributions of a technical nature made to the computing community. ... The University of Texas at Austin, often called UT or Texas, is the flagship[3][4][5][6][7] institution of the University of Texas System. ... The Association for Computing Machinery, or ACM, was founded in 1947 as the worlds first scientific and educational computing society. ... Self-stabilization is a concept from computer science. ...

Contents

Life

Dijkstra studied theoretical physics at the University of Leiden, but he quickly realized he was more interested in programming. The first few hydrogen atom electron orbitals shown as cross-sections with color-coded probability density. ... Leiden University in the city of Leiden, is the oldest university in the Netherlands. ...


Originally employed by the Mathematisch Centrum in Amsterdam, he held a professorship at the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, worked as a research fellow for Burroughs Corporation in the early 1970s, and later held the Schlumberger Centennial Chair in Computer Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin, in the United States. He retired in 2000. The National Research Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science (Dutch: Centrum voor Wiskunde en Informatica or CWI) is located in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and was founded in 1946 by J. G. van der Corput, D. van Dantzig, J. F. Koksma, H. A. Kramers, M. G. J. Minnaert and J. A... The Eindhoven University of Technology (in Dutch: Technische Universiteit Eindhoven or TU/e, and formerly Technische Hogeschool Eindhoven or THE) is a technical university located in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. ... A fellow in the broadest sense is someone who is an equal or a comrade. ... William Seward Burroughs (1857-1898), US inventor William S. Burroughs (1914-1997), author and grandson of William Seward Burroughs Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950), American author of Tarzan fame The Burroughs Corporation began in 1886 as the American Arithmometer Company in St. ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, inclusive. ... This article is about the year 2000. ...


Among his contributions to computer science is the shortest path-algorithm, also known as Dijkstra's algorithm, the THE operating system, and the semaphore construct, for coordinating multiple processors and programs. Another concept due to Dijkstra in the field of distributed computing is that of self-stabilization - an alternative way to ensure the reliability of the system. Dijkstra's algorithm is used in SPF, Shortest Path First, which is used in the routing protocol OSPF, Open Shortest Path First. In graph theory, the single-source shortest path problem is the problem of finding a path between two vertices such that the sum of the weights of its constituent edges is minimized. ... In mathematics, computing, linguistics and related disciplines, an algorithm is a procedure (a finite set of well-defined instructions) for accomplishing some task which, given an initial state, will terminate in a defined end-state. ... Dijkstras algorithm, named after its discoverer, Dutch computer scientist Edsger Dijkstra, is an algorithm that solves the single-source shortest path problem for a directed graph with nonnegative edge weights. ... Look up the in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A semaphore is a protected variable (or abstract data type) and constitutes the classic method for restricting access to shared resources (e. ... Self-stabilization is a concept from computer science. ... In computer science, Shortest path first (SPF) is a routing method able to eliminate loops. ... The Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) protocol is a link-state, hierarchical interior gateway protocol (IGP) for network routing. ...


He was also known for his low opinion of the GOTO statement in computer programming, culminating in the 1968 article "A Case against the GO TO Statement" (EWD215), regarded as a major step towards the widespread deprecation of the GOTO statement and its effective replacement by structured control constructs such as the while loop. This methodology was also called Structured programming. The paper's more famous title, "Go To Statement Considered Harmful", was not the work of Dijkstra, but of Niklaus Wirth, then editor of Communications of the ACM. Dijkstra was known to be a fan of ALGOL 60, and worked on the team that implemented the first compiler for that language. Dijkstra and Jaap Zonneveld, who collaborated on the compiler, agreed not to shave until the project was completed. Zonneveld eventually shaved off his beard; Dijkstra kept his until his death. Goto may mean: GOTO (also known as Goto or Go to) – a branching construct in programming languages, infamous for its role in unstructured dialects of BASIC Goto, Nagasaki – a Japanese city G0-T0 (note: the characters following the G and T, respectively, are zeros), alias his coverup identity of Goto... The output from the process of computer programming (often shortened to programming or coding) is source code written in a programming language. ... 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1968 calendar). ... Goto may mean: GOTO (also known as Goto or Go to) – a branching construct in programming languages, infamous for its role in unstructured dialects of BASIC Goto, Nagasaki – a Japanese city G0-T0 (note: the characters following the G and T, respectively, are zeros), alias his coverup identity of Goto... Control Structures: In computer science, structured algorithms are built using control structures. ... In most computer programming languages, a while loop is a control flow statement that allows code to be executed repeatedly based on a given boolean condition. ... Structured programming can be seen as a subset or subdiscipline of procedural programming, one of the major programming paradigms. ... In computer science and related disciplines, considered harmful is a phrase popularly used in the titles of diatribes and other critical essays. ... Niklaus Wirth giving a lecture Niklaus E. Wirth (born February 15, 1934) is a Swiss computer scientist. ... Communications of the ACM (CACM) is the flagship monthly magazine of the Association for Computing Machinery. ... ALGOL (short for ALGOrithmic Language) is a family of imperative computer programming languages originally developed in the mid 1950s which became the de facto standard way to report algorithms in print for almost the next 30 years. ... A diagram of the operation of a typical multi-language, multi-target compiler. ...


Also there were two important papers in 1968, devoted to the structure of the multiprogramming systems and to cooperating of sequential processes.


From the 1970s, Dijkstra's chief interest was formal verification. The prevailing opinion at the time was that one should first write a program and then provide a mathematical proof of correctness. Dijkstra objected that the resulting proofs are long and cumbersome, and that the proof gives no insight as to how the program was developed. An alternative method is program derivation, to "develop proof and program hand in hand". One starts with a mathematical specification of what a program is supposed to do and applies mathematical transformations to the specification until it is turned into a program that can be executed. The resulting program is then known to be correct by construction. Much of Dijkstra's later work concerns ways to streamline mathematical argument. In a 2001 interview, he stated a desire for "elegance", whereby the correct approach would be to process thoughts mentally, rather than attempt to render them until they are complete. The analogy he made was to contrast the compositional approaches of Mozart and Beethoven. The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, inclusive. ... In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics. ... In mathematics, a proof is a demonstration that, assuming certain axioms, some statement is necessarily true. ... In theoretical computer science, correctness of an algorithm is asserted when it is said that the algorithm is correct with respect to a specification. ... In computer science, program derivation is the derivation a program from its specification, by mathematical means. ... Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (baptized as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart; January 27, 1756 – December 5, 1791) was a prolific and highly influential composer of Classical music. ... Beethoven redirects here. ...


Dijkstra was known for his essays on programming; he was the first to make the claim that programming is so inherently difficult and complex that programmers need to harness every trick and abstraction possible in hopes of managing the complexity of it successfully. He is also known for his habit of carefully composing manuscripts with his fountain pen. The manuscripts are called EWDs, since Dijkstra numbered them with EWD as prefix. Dijkstra would distribute photocopies of a new EWD among his colleagues; as many recipients photocopied and forwarded their copy, the EWDs spread throughout the international computer science community (see EWD1000). The topics are mainly computer science and mathematics, but also include trip reports, letters, and speeches. More than 1300 EWDs have since been scanned, with a growing number also transcribed to facilitate search, and are available online at the Dijkstra archive of the University of Texas[1]. A manuscript (Latin manu scriptus, written by hand), strictly speaking, is any written document that is put down by hand, in contrast to being printed or reproduced some other way. ... A fountain pen is a writing instrument, more specifically a pen, that contains a reservoir of water-based ink that is fed to a nib through a feed via a combination of gravity and capillary action. ...


Dijkstra was one of the very early pioneers of the research on distributed computing. Some people even consider some of his papers to be those that established the field. In particular, his paper "Self-stabilizing Systems in Spite of Distributed Control" started the sub field of Self-stabilization. Self-stabilization is a concept from computer science. ...


Dijkstra is also noted for owning only one computer (late in life) and rarely actually using them[2], in keeping with his conviction that computer science was more abstract than mere programming, expressed in a number of famous sayings such as "Computer Science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes."[3]


He died in Nuenen, The Netherlands on August 6, 2002 after a long struggle with cancer. The following year, the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) PODC Influential Paper Award in distributed computing was renamed the Dijkstra Prize in his honour. Nuenen, Gerwen en Nederwetten is a municipality consisting of the larger village of Nuenen and two adjacent smaller ones. ... Motto: Je Maintiendrai (Dutch: Ik zal handhaven, English: I Shall Uphold) Anthem: Wilhelmus van Nassouwe Capital Amsterdam1 Largest city Amsterdam Official language(s) Dutch2 Government Parliamentary democracy Constitutional monarchy  - Queen Beatrix  - Prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende Independence Eighty Years War   - Declared July 26, 1581   - Recognised January 30, 1648 (by Spain... August 6 is the 218th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (219th in leap years), with 147 days remaining. ... For album titles with the same name, see 2002 (album). ... Cancer is a class of diseases or disorders characterized by uncontrolled division of cells and the ability of these cells to invade other tissues, either by direct growth into adjacent tissue through invasion or by implantation into distant sites by metastasis. ... The Association for Computing Machinery, or ACM, was founded in 1947 as the worlds first scientific and educational computing society. ... The Edsger W. Dijkstra Prize is a prize for outstanding papers on the principles of distributed computing, named after Edsger W. Dijkstra. ...


Andrzej Sapkowski, Polish fantasy writer, used Dijkstra's name for one of the main character in the five book "Saga" about The Hexer. Andrzej Sapkowski Andrzej Sapkowski, born June 21, 1948 in Łódź, is a Polish fantasy writer. ... The Witcher or The Hexer (Polish: Wiedźmin) named Geralt is a character created by Andrzej Sapkowski. ...


See also

Dijkstras algorithm, named after its discoverer, Dutch computer scientist Edsger Dijkstra, is an algorithm that solves the single-source shortest path problem for a directed graph with nonnegative edge weights. ... In computer science, the dining philosophers problem is an illustrative example of a common computing problem in concurrency. ... The Cruelty of Really Teaching Computer Science is a 1988 paper by E. W. Dijkstra, which argues that computer programming should be understood as a branch of mathematics, and that the formal provability of a program is a major criterion for correctness. ... The THE multiprogramming system was a computer operating system designed by Edsger Dijkstra and published in 1968. ... The Shunting yard algorithm is a method for parsing mathematical equations specified in infix notation. ...

References

Writings by E.W. Dijkstra

  1. ^ University of Texas online Texas archive: ww.cs.utexas.edu/users/EWD/
  2. ^ "Almost all articles in this series appearing after 1972 are hand-written. Having invented much of the technology of software, Dijkstra eschewed the use of computers in his own work for many decades. Even after he succumbed to his UT colleagues’ encouragement and acquired a Macintosh computer, he used it only for e-mail and for browsing the World Wide Web." "IN MEMORIAM EDSGER WYBE DIJKSTRA"
  3. ^ "IN MEMORIAM EDSGER WYBE DIJKSTRA"
  • Go To Statement Considered Harmful, Communications of the ACM, Vol. 11 (1968) 147 – 148; online edition (EWD215)
  • How do we tell truths that might hurt? (EWD498)
  • From My Life (EWD166)
  • A Discipline of Programming, Prentice-Hall Series in Automatic Computation, 1976, ISBN 0-13-215871-X
  • Selected Writings on Computing: A Personal Perspective, Texts and Monographs in Computer Science, Springer-Verlag, 1982, ISBN 0-387-90652-5
  • A Method of Programming, E.W. Dijkstra, W.H.J. Feijen, J. Sterringa, Addison Wesley 1988, ISBN 0-201-17536-3

Communications of the ACM (CACM) is the flagship monthly magazine of the Association for Computing Machinery. ...

Others about Dijkstra, eulogies

To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The Formal Aspects of Computing journal is published by Springer-Verlag. ...

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Edsger Dijkstra
  • Noorderlicht Interview Video, bandwidth options
  • Luca Cardelli's Font of Dijkstra's Handwriting

  Results from FactBites:
 
Dijkstra's algorithm - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1302 words)
Dijkstra's algorithm, named after its discoverer, Dutch computer scientist Edsger Dijkstra, is an algorithm that solves the single-source shortest path problem for a directed graph with nonnegative edge weights.
The basic operation of Dijkstra's algorithm is edge relaxation: if there is an edge from u to v, then the shortest known path from s to u (d[u]) can be extended to a path from s to v by adding edge (u,v) at the end.
The A* algorithm is a generalization of Dijkstra's algorithm that cuts down on the size of the subgraph that must be explored, if additional information is available that provides a lower-bound on the "distance" to the target.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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