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Some Information about Bjarne Stroustrup


Modified September 9, 2015

Canned biography:

Bjarne Stroustrup is the designer and original implementer of C++ and the author of

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His research interests include distributed systems, design, programming techniques, software development tools, and programming languages. He is actively involved in the ANSI/ISO standardization of C++.

Dr. Stroustrup is a Managing Director in the technology division of Morgan Stanley in New York City, a Visiting Professor in Computer Science at Columbia University, and associated with Texas A&M University as a University Distinguished Professor.

He has received numerous honors:

Texas A&M University honors:

Born in Aarhus Denmark 1950. Cand.Scient. (Mathematics and Computer Science), 1975, University of Aarhus Denmark. Ph.D. (Computer Science) 1979, Cambridge University, England.

His non-research interests include general history, light literature, photography, hiking and running, travel, and music. He lives in New York City with his wife; their daughter is a medical doctor and their son is a Post-doctoral fellow in systems biology.

Biography for people who prefer longer sentences:

Bjarne Stroustrup designed and implemented C++. Over the last decade, C++ has become the most widely used language supporting object-oriented programming by making abstraction techniques affordable and manageable for mainstream projects. Using C++ as his tool, Stroustrup has pioneered the use of object-oriented and generic programming techniques in application areas where efficiency is a premium; examples include general systems programming, switching, simulation, graphics, user-interfaces, embedded systems, and scientific computation. For about two decades, C++ has been among the most widely used programming languages. The influence of C++ and the ideas it popularized are clearly visible far beyond the C++ community. Languages including C, C#, Java, and Fortran99 provide features pioneered for mainstream use by C++, as do systems such as COM and CORBA.

His book "The C++ Programming Language" (Addison-Wesley, first edition 1985, second edition 1991, third edition 1997, "special" edition 2000, fourth edition 2013) is the most widely read book of its kind and has been translated into at least 19 languages. A later book, "The Design and Evolution of C++" (Addison-Wesley, 1994) broke new ground in the description of the way a programming language was shaped by ideas, ideals, problems, and practical constraints. His recent programming textbook Programming -- Principles and Practice using C++, has (so far) been translated into 7 languages. In addition to his seven books, Stroustrup has published more than a hundred academic and more popular papers.

He took an active role in the creation of the ANSI/ISO standard for C++ and continues to work on the maintenance and revision of that standard.

Related information:

Bjarne Stroustrup was elected member of The National Academy of Engineering in 2004 "for the creation of the C++ programming language". As the first computer scientist ever, he was awarded the 2005 William Procter Prize for Scientific Achievement from Sigma Xi (the scientific research society). He was given the IEEE Computer Society's 2004 Computer Entrepreneur Award "for pioneering the development and commercialization of industrial-strength, object-oriented programming technologies, and the profound changes they fostered in business and industry." He is an AT&T Bell Laboratories Fellow and an AT&T Fellow. He received the 1993 ACM Grace Murray Hopper award "for his early work laying the foundations for the C++ programming language. based on those foundations and Dr. Stroustrup's continuing efforts, C++ has become one of the most influential programming languages in the history of computing". He received the ACM UPE ABACUS Award -- an award that is ``presented to the individual who has gained professional renown and who, over several years, has provided extensive support and leadership for student-related activities in the computing and information disciplines.'' He received an honorary doctorate from St Petersburg National Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics. ITMO is a top Russian technical university, best known for winning the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ACM ICPC) five times -- more than any other university in the world. Other honorary doctors include Tony Hoare (2013), John Hopcroft (2009), and Niklaus Wirth (2005).

Member of the Texas Academy of Medicine, Engineering, and Science. He is an ACM fellow and an IEEE fellow. He received the 2008 Dr. Dobb's Excellence in Programming award for "advancing the craft of computer programming". He served on the Danish Research Council. He was named one of "America's twelve top young scientists" by Fortune Magazine in 1990 and as one of "the 20 most influential people in the computer industry in the last 20 years" by BYTE magazine in 1995.

In 1990, "The Annotated C++ Reference Manual" received Dr Dobb's "Jolt Cola" award for excellence in technical documentation. In 1995, "The Design and Evolution of C++" received a Dr Dobb's "Productivity Award" for helping programmers to improve their code.

Bjarne Stroustrup is the consulting editor for Addison Wesley's C++ In Depth series. The aim of the series is to present ``short focussed books that directly address specific technical audiences.''

Bjarne was born in and grew up in Aarhus, the second largest city in Denmark. He went to Aarhus University studying in the department of computer science DAIMI gaining the Danish equivalent to a good Masters degree (a Cand.Scient. degree is rarely taken in significantly less than six years - at least it wasn't then). Aarhus is a wonderful town of about 250,000 people beautifully sited on the East coast of Jutland.

Bjarne did his Ph.D. work on design of distributed systems in the Computing Laboratory of Cambridge University, England. The Cambridge Computer Laboratory celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2013 (The history of the CL is documented in a very nice and readable book). He is a member of Churchill College where he and his wife, Marian, spent some wonderful and busy years and where their daughter, Annemarie, was born. Cambridge is another wonderful town and one of the magical places of the world. His thesis advisor in Cambridge was David Wheeler and he also spent significant time talking with (learning from) Roger Needham. He didn't really get to know Maurice Wilkes until years later. He shared an office with Bruce Croft, Jeremy Dion, Neil Grey, David Harper, Andy Hopper, and Mark Pezzaro.

You can find a few more personal details and some information about the birth of C++ in Steve Lohr's Go to: The Story of the Math Majors, Bridge Players, Engineers, Chess Wizards, Scientists and Iconoclasts who were the Hero Programmers of the Software Revolution. Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-04225-2; 2001.

In 1979, Bjarne Stroustrup, together with his wife and daughter, moved to New Jersey to join the Computer Science Research Center of Bell Telephone Laboratories (colloqually know as 127 or 1127). Over the years, they lived in Summit, Meyersville, and Watchung - all about 10 minutes drive from Bell Labs' main research site in Murray Hill. A son, Nicholas, was born in Meyersville. After the 1984 break-up of the Bell System, Bell Labs became AT&T Bell Labs, and after the 1995 break-up of AT&T, AT&T Bell Labs was itself split into AT&T Labs and Lucent Technologies Bell Labs. From its inception, Bjarne was a member of AT&T Labs - Research, the half of Bell Labs Information Sciences Research that AT&T kept to itself as Lucent and NCR were spun off.

Bjarne was the head of the Large-Scale Programming Research Department from its creation in AT&T Bell Labs until late 2002 when he joined the computer science department of Texas A&M University. He retained a link with AT&T Labs - Research as an AT&T Fellow until 2012.

From 2002 to 2014, Bjarne was the College of Engineering Chair in Computer Science Professor at Texas A&M University. He and his wife lived in a house in a quiet wooded area of College Station, Texas. After leaving for NYC in January 2014, he retains a link to TAMU as a University Distinguished Professor. He is a member of the Parasol group in the Computer Science and Engineering Department.

Over the years, Bjarne has spent significant time (sabbaticals and such) in the computer science departments of Cambridge, Columbia, and Princeton. In particular:

Since October 2011, he has been on the board of advisors for RollApp, a Cloud computing startup.

As of January 2014, Bjarne is a Managing Director in the technology division of Morgan Stanley in New York City and a Visiting Professor in Computer Science at Columbia University. The move to New York was prompted by Marian and Bjarne wanting to be nearer to their children and (especially) grandchildren. Bjarne also wish to refresh his acquaintance with critical software development. Academic concerns can distract from work aiming squarely at solving industrial problens (e.g., of scale and reliability).

He and his wife live in New York City; their daughter is a medical doctor and their son is a Post-doctoral research fellow in systems biology.

Romanian translation

Morgan Stanley | Columbia University | Texas A&M University

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