Alfred Aho, Ph.D.

Lawrence Gussman Professor of Computer Science, Columbia University

Alfred Aho is the Lawrence Gussman Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University. He served as chair of the department from 1995 to 1997. After receiving his Ph.D. from Princeton University, he joined the Computing Sciences Research Center at Bell Labs, the lab that invented Unix, C and C++ and made many other fundamental contributions to computer science. He has won the IEEE John von Neumann Medal and has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Royal Society of Canada. He has honorary doctorates from the Universities of Waterloo, Helsinki and Toronto.

Aho is well known for his many papers and books on algorithms and data structures, programming languages, compilers and the foundations of computer science. He is the “A” in AWK, a widely used text-processing language, and wrote the first versions of the Unix pattern-matching utilities egrep and fgrep. His current research interests include programming languages, compilers, algorithms and quantum computation.

Aho has served as chair of the Computer Science and Engineering Section of the NAE, of ACM’s Special Interest Group on Algorithms and Computation Theory, and of the advisory committee for the NSF Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering. He was the theory of computation area editor for the Journal of the ACM and is currently editor of the contributed articles section of the Communications of the ACM.

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