Name: Maurice Wilkes
Born: June 26, 1913, Dudley, Worcestershire, England, UK
Death: November 29, 2010 (age 97)
Computer related contributions
- British computer scientist best known as the builder and designer of the EDSAC, the first computer with an internally stored program.
- Developed the concept of microprogramming from the realisation that the Central Processing Unit of a computer could be controlled by a miniature, highly specialised computer program in high-speed ROM. First implemented in the EDSAC 2.
- Credited with the idea of symbolic labels, macros, and subroutine libraries. These are fundamental developments that made programming much easier and paved the way for high-level programming languages.
- Time-sharing Computer Systems. Elsevier, (1975).
- Automatic Digital Computers. John Wiley & Sons, New York, (1956)
- The Preparation of Programs for an Electronic Digital Computer by Maurice Wilkes, David Wheeler, and Stanley Gill; (original 1951)
Honors and awards
- Mountbatten Medal (1997)
- Faraday Medal (1981)
- Turing Award (1967)
"Since 1954, the raw speed of computers, as measured by the time it takes to do an addition, increased by a factor of 10,000. That means an algorithm that once took 10 minutes to perform can now be done 15 times a second."
"Students sometimes ask my advice on how to get rich. The best advice I can give them is to dig up some old algorithm that once took forever, program it for a modern workstation, form a startup to market it and then get rich."