Professor Donald Knuth ForMemRS

Donald ‘Don’ Knuth is renowned for his fundamental contributions to computer science, and for developing the TeX and Metafont typesetting software. He is particularly well known for his work on the analysis of algorithms — the mathematical study of their performance and resource needs — brought together in his series of books, The Art of Computer Programming (1968–present). Don is co-developer of the Knuth–Bendix algorithm for ‘word problems’ — a technical term for a form of mathematical equality.

His TeX and Metafont software and the Computer Modern family of typefaces revolutionised digital typesetting of scientific publications. They enable anyone to produce and share high-quality printed and electronic documents using their own computers, independent of changes in technology.

Don’s multi-volume publication, The Art of Computer Programming, is widely read and is regarded as the definitive work on the subject. He has received many awards, including the 1974 A. M. Turing Award of the Association for Computing Machinery, the 1979 US Medal of Science, and the 1996 Kyoto Prize for Advanced Technology.

Professional position

  • Prof. Emeritus of the Art of Computer Programming, Stanford University

Subject groups

  • Other

    History of science

  • Engineering

    Computer engineering (including software), Communications incl information theory

  • Mathematics

    Pure mathematics, Applied mathematics and theoretical physics, Statistics and Operational Research

  • Computer sciences

    Computer science (excl engineering aspects), Programming languages and verification


  • Kyoto Prize

    In the field of information science.

Professor Donald Knuth ForMemRS
Elected 2003

Credit: Rajan P. Parrikar