ListMoto - Niklaus Wirth

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Niklaus Emil Wirth (born 15 February 1934) is a Swiss computer scientist, best known for designing several programming languages, including Pascal, and for pioneering several classic topics in software engineering. In 1984 he won the Turing Award, generally recognized as the highest distinction in computer science,[2][3] for developing a sequence of innovative computer languages.[4]


1 Biography 2 Programming languages 3 Notable publications 4 Wirth's law 5 Humor 6 See also 7 References 8 External links

Biography[edit] Wirth was born in Winterthur, Switzerland, in 1934. In 1959 he earned a degree in Electronics Engineering
Electronics Engineering
from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich (ETH Zürich). In 1960 he earned an M.Sc.
from Université Laval, Canada. Then in 1963 he was awarded a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Computer Science
(EECS) from the University of California, Berkeley, supervised by the computer designer pioneer Harry Huskey. From 1963 to 1967 he served as assistant professor of Computer Science at Stanford University
Stanford University
and again at the University of Zurich. Then in 1968 he became Professor of Informatics at ETH Zürich, taking two one-year sabbaticals at Xerox PARC
Xerox PARC
in California
(1976–1977 and 1984–1985). Wirth retired in 1999. In 2004, he was made a Fellow of the Computer History Museum
Computer History Museum
"for seminal work in programming languages and algorithms, including Euler, Algol-W, Pascal, Modula, and Oberon."[5] Programming languages[edit]

Niklaus Wirth, 1969, sitting on a spaghetti chair

Wirth was the chief designer of the programming languages Euler, Algol W, Pascal,[6] Modula, Modula-2, Oberon, Oberon-2, and Oberon-07, and Component Pascal. He was also a major part of the design and implementation team for the Lilith and Oberon operating systems, and for the Lola digital hardware design and simulation system. He received the ACM Turing Award
Turing Award
for the development of these languages in 1984 and in 1994 he was inducted as a Fellow of the ACM. He designed the simple programming language PL/0 to illustrate compiler design. It has formed the basis for many university compiler design classes. Notable publications[edit] His book, written jointly with Kathleen Jensen, The Pascal User Manual and Report, served as the basis of many language implementation efforts in the 1970s and 1980s in the United States and across Europe. His article Program Development by Stepwise Refinement, about the teaching of programming, is considered to be a classic text in software engineering. In 1975 he wrote the book Algorithms + Data Structures = Programs, which gained wide recognition. Major revisions of this book with the new title Algorithms + Data Structures were published in 1985 and 2004. The examples in the first edition were written in Pascal. These were replaced in the later editions with examples written in Modula-2 and Oberon respectively. His textbook, Systematic Programming: An Introduction, was considered a good source for students who wanted to do more than "just coding". Regarded as a challenging text to work through, it was sought as imperative reading for those interested in numerical mathematics.[7]

Signature of Niklaus Wirth

In 1992 he published (together with Jürg Gutknecht) the full documentation of the Oberon OS.[8]. A second book (together with Martin Reiser) was intended as a programmers guide.[9] Wirth's law[edit] Main article: Wirth's law In 1995, he popularized the adage now known as Wirth's law: "Software is getting slower more rapidly than hardware becomes faster." In his 1995 paper A Plea for Lean Software
he attributes it to Martin Reiser.[10] Humor[edit] Wirth has reportedly told the joke that, because Europeans pronounce his name properly ("VEER-t"), while Americans pronounce it as "nickel's worth", he is called by name in Europe and called by value in America.[11][12] See also[edit]

Extended Backus–Naur Form Wirth syntax notation Bucky bit Wirth–Weber precedence relationship List of pioneers in computer science


^ Niklaus Wirth
Niklaus Wirth
2004 Fellow ^ Dasgupta, Sanjoy; Papadimitriou, Christos; Vazirani, Umesh (2008). Algorithms. McGraw-Hill. ISBN 978-0-07-352340-8. , p. 317. ^ Bibliography of Turing Award
Turing Award
lectures, DBLP ^ http://amturing.acm.org/award_winners/wirth_1025774.cfm ^ CHM. " Niklaus Wirth
Niklaus Wirth
— CHM Fellow Award Winner". Retrieved December 2, 2017.  ^ Petzold, Charles (1996-09-09). "Programming Languages: Survivors and Wannabes". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-03-08.  ^ Abrahams, Paul (July 1974). "Systematic Programming: An Introduction by Niklaus Wirth". Mathematics of Computation. American Mathematical Society. 28 (127): 881–883. JSTOR 2005728.  ^ N. Wirth and J. Gutknecht: Project Oberon - The Design of an Operating System and Compiler
Addison-Wesley/ACM Press (1992) ISBN 0-201-54428-8. Out of print. Online version of a second edition. ^ M. Reiser and N. Wirth: Programming in Oberon Addison-Wesley/ACM Press (1992) ISBN 0-201-56543-9. Out of print. ^ Niklaus Wirth
Niklaus Wirth
(February 1995). "A Plea for Lean Software". Computer. 28 (2): 64–68. doi:10.1109/2.348001. Retrieved 2007-01-13.  ^ " Niklaus Wirth
Niklaus Wirth
- Free Pascal wiki". wiki.freepascal.org. Retrieved 2016-09-28.  ^ Phipps, Clay. "Niklaus Wirth". Retrieved 28 September 2016. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Niklaus Wirth.

Wikiquote has quotations related to: Niklaus Wirth

Biography at ETH Zürich. Personal home page at ETH Zürich. Niklaus Wirth
Niklaus Wirth
at DBLP Bibliography Server Niklaus E. Wirth at ACM. Wirth, Niklaus (April 1971). "Program Development by Stepwise Refinement". Communications of the ACM. 14 (4): 221–7. doi:10.1145/362575.362577.  Wirth, N. (1974). "On the Design of Programming Languages" (PDF). Proc. IFIP Congress 74: 386–393.  Turing Award
Turing Award
Lecture, 1984 Pascal and its Successors paper by Niklaus Wirth
Niklaus Wirth
– also includes short biography. A Few Words with Niklaus Wirth The School of Niklaus Wirth: The Art of Simplicity, by László Böszörményi, Jürg Gutknecht, Gustav Pomberger (editors). dpunkt.verlag / Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, 2000. ISBN 3-932588-85-1 / ISBN 1-55860-723-4. The book Compiler
Construction The book Algorithms and Data Structures The book Project Oberon – The Design of an Operating System and Compiler. The book about the Oberon language and Operating System is now available as a PDF file. The PDF file has an additional appendix Ten Years After: From Objects to Components. Project Oberon 2013

v t e

A. M. Turing Award
Turing Award


Alan Perlis (1966) Maurice Vincent Wilkes (1967) Richard Hamming
Richard Hamming
(1968) Marvin Minsky
Marvin Minsky


James H. Wilkinson (1970) John McCarthy (1971) Edsger W. Dijkstra
Edsger W. Dijkstra
(1972) Charles Bachman
Charles Bachman
(1973) Donald Knuth
Donald Knuth
(1974) Allen Newell / Herbert A. Simon
Herbert A. Simon
(1975) Michael O. Rabin
Michael O. Rabin
/ Dana Scott
Dana Scott
(1976) John Backus
John Backus
(1977) Robert W. Floyd (1978) Kenneth E. Iverson
Kenneth E. Iverson


Tony Hoare
Tony Hoare
(1980) Edgar F. Codd
Edgar F. Codd
(1981) Stephen Cook
Stephen Cook
(1982) Ken Thompson
Ken Thompson
/ Dennis Ritchie
Dennis Ritchie
(1983) Niklaus Wirth
Niklaus Wirth
(1984) Richard Karp (1985) John Hopcroft
John Hopcroft
/ Robert Tarjan
Robert Tarjan
(1986) John Cocke (1987) Ivan Sutherland
Ivan Sutherland
(1988) William Kahan
William Kahan


Fernando J. Corbató
Fernando J. Corbató
(1990) Robin Milner (1991) Butler Lampson (1992) Juris Hartmanis
Juris Hartmanis
/ Richard E. Stearns
Richard E. Stearns
(1993) Edward Feigenbaum
Edward Feigenbaum
/ Raj Reddy
Raj Reddy
(1994) Manuel Blum
Manuel Blum
(1995) Amir Pnueli
Amir Pnueli
(1996) Douglas Engelbart
Douglas Engelbart
(1997) Jim Gray (1998) Fred Brooks
Fred Brooks


Andrew Yao
Andrew Yao
(2000) Ole-Johan Dahl / Kristen Nygaard
Kristen Nygaard
(2001) Ron Rivest
Ron Rivest
/ Adi Shamir
Adi Shamir
/ Leonard Adleman
Leonard Adleman
(2002) Alan Kay
Alan Kay
(2003) Vint Cerf
Vint Cerf
/ Bob Kahn
Bob Kahn
(2004) Peter Naur
Peter Naur
(2005) Frances E. Allen
Frances E. Allen
(2006) Edmund M. Clarke
Edmund M. Clarke
/ E. Allen Emerson / Joseph Sifakis (2007) Barbara Liskov
Barbara Liskov
(2008) Charles P. Thacker
Charles P. Thacker


Leslie G. Valiant (2010) Judea Pearl
Judea Pearl
(2011) Shafi Goldwasser
Shafi Goldwasser
/ Silvio Micali
Silvio Micali
(2012) Leslie Lamport
Leslie Lamport
(2013) Michael Stonebraker
Michael Stonebraker
(2014) Martin Hellman / Whitfield Diffie
Whitfield Diffie
(2015) Tim Berners-Lee
Tim Berners-Lee
(2016) John L. Hennessy
John L. Hennessy
/ David Patterson (2017)

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 108127625 LCCN: n50013767 ISNI: 0000 0000 8405 6132 GND: 120777983 SUDOC: 032896301 BNF: cb123836887 (data) BIBSYS: 90051355 HDS: 31725 MGP: 61847 NDL: 00461229 SNAC: w62j7fg8 DBLP: w/NiklausWirth A