Giants of Computing

A Compendium of Select, Pivotal Pioneers

  • Gerard O’Regan

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxi
  2. Gerard O’Regan
    Pages 1-7
  3. Gerard O’Regan
    Pages 9-11
  4. Gerard O’Regan
    Pages 13-16
  5. Gerard O’Regan
    Pages 17-19
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    Pages 21-23
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    Pages 25-30
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    Pages 31-34
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    Pages 35-38
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    Pages 39-42
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    Pages 47-52
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    Pages 59-62
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    Pages 63-65
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  18. Gerard O’Regan
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  19. Gerard O’Regan
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  20. Gerard O’Regan
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About this book


It has been upon the shoulders of giants that the modern world has been forged. 

This accessible compendium presents an insight into the great minds responsible for the technology which has transformed our lives. Each pioneer is introduced with a brief biography, followed by a concise account of their key contributions to their discipline. The selection covers a broad spread of historical and contemporary figures from theoreticians to entrepreneurs, highlighting the richness of the field of computing. 

Topics and features:

  • Describes the lives and machines built by Hermann Hollerith, Vannevar Bush, Howard Aiken, John Atanasoff, Tommy Flowers, John Mauchly, and Konrad Zuse
  • Examines the contributions made by Claude Shannon, John Von Neumann, Alan Turing, and Sir Frederick Williams
  • Reviews such pioneers of commercial computing as John Backus, Fred Brooks, Gordon Moore, William Shockley, Vint Cerf, Don Estridge, Gary Kildall, and Tim Berners-Lee
  • Surveys pivotal software engineers, including Robert Floyd, C.A.R Hoare, Dines Bjorner, Edger Dijkstra, Tom DeMarco, Michael Fagan, Watt Humphries, Ivor Jacobson, David Parnas, and Ed Yourdan
  • Discusses important characters in theoretical computing, such as James Gosling, Grace Murray Hopper, Kenneth Iverson, Donald Knuth, Dennis Ritchie, Ken Thompson, Dana Scott, Christopher Strachey, Bjarne Stroustroup, and Niklaus Wirth
  • Includes significant contributors to the field of artificial intelligence, including John McCarthy, Marvin Minsky, John Searle, and Joseph Weizenbaum
  • Presents a selection of computer entrepreneurs, including Larry Ellison, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Ken Olsen, and Thomas Watson Sr. and Jr. 
Suitable for the general reader, this concise and easy-to-read reference will be of interest to anyone curious about the inspiring men and women who have shaped the field of computer science.


Computer Entrepreneurs Early Computer Pioneers History of Artificial Intelligence History of Commercial Computing History of Programming Languages History of Software Engineering History of Theoretical Computing Origins of Computing

Authors and affiliations

  • Gerard O’Regan
    • 1
  1. 1.SQC ConsultingMallowIreland

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag London 2013
  • Publisher Name Springer, London
  • eBook Packages Computer Science
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4471-5339-9
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4471-5340-5
  • About this book