Thomas E. Kurtz

Thomas E. Kurtz
Thomas Eugene Kurtz

(1928-02-22) February 22, 1928 (age 90)
EducationPrinceton University, Knox College (Mathematics)
OccupationComputer Scientist, Mathematician, Statistician
Awards1974 AFIPS Pioneer Award
1991 IEEE Computer Science Pioneer Award

Thomas Eugene Kurtz (born February 22, 1928) is a retired Dartmouth professor of mathematics and computer scientist, who along with his colleague John G. Kemeny[1] set in motion the then revolutionary concept of making computers as freely available to college students as library books were, by implementing the concept of time-sharing at Dartmouth College. In his mission to allow non-expert users to interact with the computer, he co-developed the BASIC programming language (Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) and the Dartmouth Time Sharing System during 1963 to 1964.

A native of Oak Park Illinois, United States, Kurtz graduated from Knox College in 1950, and was awarded a Ph.D. degree from Princeton University in 1956, where his advisor was John Tukey, and joined the Mathematics Department of Dartmouth College that same year, where he taught statistics and numerical analysis.

In 1983, Kurtz and Kemeny co-founded a company called True BASIC, Inc. to market True BASIC, an updated version of the language.

Kurtz has also served as Council Chairman and Trustee of EDUCOM, as well as Trustee and Chairman of NERComP, and on the Pierce Panel of the President's Scientific Advisory Committee. Kurtz also served on the steering committees for the CONDUIT project and the CCUC conferences on instructional computing.

In 1974, the American Federation of Information Processing Societies gave an award to Kurtz and Kemeny at the National Computer Conference for their work on BASIC and time-sharing.[2] In 1991, the Computer Society honored Kurtz with the IEEE Computer Pioneer Award[3] and in 1994 he was inducted as a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery.[4]

Early life and education

In 1951, Kurtz' first experience with computing came at the Summer Session of the Institute for Numerical Analysis at University of California, Los Angeles. His interests have included numerical analysis, statistics, and computer science ever since. He graduated in 1950 when he obtained his bachelor's degree majoring in mathematics and in 1956, at the age of 28, he went on to acquire his PhD from Princeton University. His thesis was on a problem of multiple comparisons in mathematical statistics.[5] Kurtz composed his first computer program in 1951 while working with computers at UCLA in the institute of numerical analysis. He performed this feat just after finishing grad school and one year into his tuition at Princeton University.

Other Languages
Bahasa Melayu: Thomas Eugene Kurtz
polski: Thomas Kurtz
русский: Курц, Томас
українська: Томас Курц