John McCarthy

Updated: 09/15/2017 by Computer Hope

John McCarthyName: John McCarthy

Born: September 4, 1927 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Death: October 24, 2011 (Age: 84)

Computer related contributions

  • American computer scientist and cognitive scientist.
  • Coined the term "artificial intelligence" (AI), created the Lisp programming language family, influenced the design of the ALGOL programming language, and made timesharing popular.


  • Programs with Common Sense. In Proceedings of the Teddington Conference on the Mechanization of Thought Processes (1959).
  • Recursive functions of symbolic expressions and their computation by machine (1960)
  • A basis for a mathematical theory of computation. In Computer Programming and formal systems (1963a)
  • Situations, actions, and causal laws. Technical report, Stanford University (1963b)
  • Some philosophical problems from the standpoint of artificial intelligence (1969)
  • Epistemological problems of artificial intelligence (1977)
  • Circumscription: A form of non-monotonic reasoning (1980)

Honors and awards

  • Turing Award from the Association for Computing Machinery (1971).
  • Kyoto Prize (1988).
  • National Medal of Science (USA) in Mathematical, Statistical, and Computational Sciences (1990).
  • Inducted as a Fellow of the Computer History Museum (1999).
  • Benjamin Franklin Medal in Computer and Cognitive Science from the Franklin Institute (2003).
  • Inducted into IEEE Intelligent Systems' AI's Hall of Fame, for the "significant contributions to the field of AI and intelligent systems" (2011).