Famous computer scientists and their inventions
For Developers

National Inventors Month: 9 Famous Computer Scientists and Their Inventions

By August 26, 2022 5 min read

Who is the most famous computer scientists? Who is a famous computer genius? Who invented programming? 

Find out all the answers in this post.

When you think of famous computer scientists, who comes to your mind? Is it Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Larry Page, Charles Babbage, or someone else? 

There are many computer scientists who may not be on your list but are great innovators in the field of computer science. As a software engineer, developer, programmer, data scientist, or IT student, you would want to know more about these great computer scientists who have created a mark in the world with their inventions. 

So, here is a list of nine famous computer scientists and their inventions.

  1. Tim Berners-Lee

    Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee, a.k.a. Tim BL, was a well-known computer scientist from England. Initially, he worked as a researcher at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. Later, Tim became a Fellow of Computer Science at the University of Oxford. Currently, he is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). 

    Important contributions and achievements
    1. Tim BL invented the World Wide Web (WWW).
    2. Tim BL was awarded the Knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II.
    3. He invented the three major requirements of WWW: Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), Uniform Resource Locator(URL), and Hypertext Markup Language (HTML).
    4. He launched the first website http:// info.cern.ch.
    5. He co-founded the World Wide Web Foundation.
    6. He founded the World Wide Web Consortium at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  2. Ray Tomlinson

    Raymond Samuel Tomlinson was an American computer programmer. His work helped users to transmit messages on different computers. Tomlinson invented the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), one of the main protocols of the Internet protocol suite. 

    Important contributions and achievements
    1. Tomlinson invented email on the ARPANET system. ARPANET is the forerunner of the Internet.
    2. Tomlinson created the @ sign symbol to connect the username with the destination address.
    3. He received the Computer Pioneer Award from the American Computer Museum.
    4. Tomlinson was the first person to write a file transfer program called CPYNET to transfer files through the ARPANET.
  3. John McCarthy

    John McCarthy was an American computer scientist who contributed significantly to areas of computer science and mathematics. His contributions paved the way for inventions in artificial intelligence and interactive computing systems. 

    McCarthy was a member of the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP), a global organization for researchers and professionals working in the field of computers. In this organization, he developed international standards in programming and informatics.

    Important contributions and achievements
    1. John McCarthy invented the computer programming language LISP.
    2. He invented Garbage Collection, an automatic memory management feature.
    3. He developed time-sharing systems.
    4. He started Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (SAIL).
    5. He was honored with the Turing Award and was named one of the Stanford Engineering Heroes.
  4. James Gosling

    James Gosling OC is a famous Canadian computer scientist best known as the founder and lead designer behind the Java programming language. 

    Gosling had an excellent career wherein he worked with Sun Microsystems between 1984 and 2010. In March 2011, he joined Google, and six months later, Gosling joined a startup called Liquid Robotics. In 2017 joined Amazon Web Services as Distinguished Engineer.  

    Currently, Gosling is an advisor at the Scala company Lightbend, an Independent Director at Jelastic, a Strategic Advisor for Eucalyptus, and a board member of DIRTT Environmental Solutions.

    Important contributions and achievements
    1. James Gosling developed a multi-processor version of Unix for a 16-way computer system.
    2. He created the Unix windowing system called NeWS.
    3. He was nominated as a Foreign Associate member by the National Academy of Engineering in the U.S.
    4. In his graduation days, James Gosling invented the p-code virtual machine so that his professor could run programs written in UCSD Pascal.
    5. He is the recipient of the Innovation Award from The Economist.
  5. Margaret Hamilton

    Margaret Heafield Hamilton was an American computer scientist, systems engineer, entrepreneur, and mathematician. Hamilton was director of the Software Engineering Division of the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory. 

    She also started two companies, Higher Order Software and Hamilton Technologies.

    Important contributions and achievements
    1. Margaret Hamilton wrote the computer code for lunar modules used in the Apollo moon missions.
    2. Margret Hamilton was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. This award was for her exceptional contribution to developing onboard flight software for NASA’s Apollo Moon missions.
    3. Margret Hamilton received the Augusta Ada Lovelace Award from the Association for Women in Computing.
    4. Software development was not considered science until Margaret Hamilton coined the term software engineering.
  6. Alan Turing

    Alan Mathison Turing is a famous computer scientist, logician, mathematician, cryptanalyst, philosopher, and theoretical biologist. Alan is well-known for developing theoretical computer science, providing a formalization of the concepts of algorithm and computation with the Turing machine. 

    Related post: 5 Things Alan Turing Taught Us about Problem Solving

    Alan Turing’s first major accomplishment came while he was at Princeton, where he developed the Church-Turing thesis. In 1935, at the age of 22, he was elected a Fellow of King’s College.

    Important contributions and achievements
    1. Alan Turing invented the Automatic Computer Engine (ACE).
    2. He and his team developed ‘Bombe,’ an anti-enigma prototype model that translated Germany’s coded messages.
    3. He developed the Turing Test, which is an identification test to identify if a computer has artificial intelligence.
    4. Turing has the Bank of England 50-pound note dedicated to him.
  7. Barbara Liskov

    Barbara Liskov invented many computer programming languages that are reliable, secure, and easy to use. She is a famous woman computer scientist who has contributed exceptionally to programming languages and distributed computing. 

    Important contributions and achievements
    1. Barbara Liskov invented the Liskov substitution principle that outlines the fundamental nature of data abstraction. This principle is used in type theory and object-oriented programming.
    2. At MIT, Liskov developed the first programming language, the CLU, which relied on data abstractions. Most of the popular programming languages like C++, and C-sharp (C#) are derived from CLU.
    3. Barbara Liskov was the recipient of the Turing award in 2008.
  8. Ada Lovelace

    Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, was one of the most famous computer scientists, a mathematician, and a writer. Ada is recognized for her work on Charles Babbage’s proposed mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine. 

    Later in her career, Ada Lovelace also translated Luigi Menabrea’s French transcription of Babbage’s Analytical Engine into English.

    Important contributions and achievements
    1. The computer name Ada created for the United States Department of Defense was named after her.
    2. The second Tuesday of October is celebrated as Ada Lovelace’s day. This day celebrates the achievements of women in STEM, i.e., Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.
    3. Ada Developers Academy, founded in 2013, is named after Ada Lovelace. The academy offers women and gender-diverse people the skills, experience, and community support to become professional software developers and revolutionize tech.
  9. Kimberly Bryant

    Kimberly Bryant is an African American electrical engineer who works in the biotechnology field. Bryant is the founder of Black Girls Code, originally founded to help her daughter learn to code. This organization aims to teach one million black girls to learn to code by 2040. 

    Black Girls Code has emerged as a non-profit international organization with seven branches across the U.S. and South Africa. 

    Important contributions and achievements
    1. Kimberly has received the White House Champion of Change award for her involvement in technology advancement and closing the digital gap among girls from diverse ethnic backgrounds.
    2. Kimberly was awarded Business Insider’s “The 25 Most Influential African-Americans in Technology,” The 100 Ebony Power Women, and “The Root 100.”
    3. CNN awarded Kimberly as one of the 10 visionary women who are empowering other women.

Final thoughts

The above-mentioned names are only a few of the famous computer scientists whose contributions and achievements have added value to the ever-evolving world of computer science. 

Let us know your favorite computer scientist and why they inspire you.

If you are a software engineer, programmer, data scientist, or developer looking for a remote US software job, try Turing.com. Turing can help you land a high-paying job with a top US company. Visit our Apply for Jobs page to know more! 


FAQs

  1. Who is the father of AI?
    John McCarthy is the father of AI.

  2. Who is the mother of computers? 
    Ada Lovelace is known as the mother of computers.

  3. Who are the most famous computer scientists?
    The 9 famous computer scientists are as follows:
    1. Tim Berners-Lee
    2. Ray Tomlinson
    3. John McCarthy
    4. James Gosling
    5. Margaret Hamilton
    6. Alan Turing
    7. Barbara Liskov
    8. Ada Lovelace
    9. Kimberly Bryant

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Summary
9 Famous Computer Scientists and Their Inventions
Article Name
9 Famous Computer Scientists and Their Inventions
Description
9 famous computer scientists: 1. Tim Berners-Lee 2. Ray Tomlinson 3. John McCarthy 4. James Gosling 5. Margaret Hamilton 6. Alan Turing 7. Barbara Liskov
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Publisher Name
Turing
Gayathri Avinash
Gayathri Avinash has written content for several industries like digital marketing, franchising, education, automobile, financial consulting, and software.
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