Name: Maurice Wilkes
Born: June 26, 1913, Dudley, Worcestershire, England, UK
Death: November 29, 2010 (Age: 97)
- British computer scientist best known as the builder and designer of the EDSAC, the world's second computer (after the SSEM) to execute an internally-stored program.
- Developed the concept of microprogramming, which arose from his realization that a CPU can be controlled by a miniature, highly specialised computer program stored 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 easier and paved the way for high-level programming languages.
- Time-sharing Computer Systems (1975).
- Automatic Digital Computers (1956).
- The Preparation of Programs for an Electronic Digital Computer, with David Wheeler and Stanley Gill (1951).
Honors and awards
"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."