Sunday, September 16, 2007

Niklaus Wirth

Niklaus Wirth, born February 15, 1934, Winterthur, Switzerland, early prompter of good programming practices; developer of the programming languages Pascal, Modula-2, and Oberon; recipient of the 1984 ACM Turning Award.

In 1995, he popularized the adage now known as Wirth's law: "Software gets slower faster than hardware gets faster", although in his 1995 paper A Plea for Lean Software he attributes it to Martin Reiser.

In introducing Professor Wirth to present his Turning Award Lecture in 1984, ACM president Adele Goldberg commented: "In Europe he is called by name - Wirth (pronounced virt), while in America we know him by value - Worth (pronounced worth)!"

1. J.A.N. Nee, "Niklaus Wirth", International Biographical Dictionary of Computer Pioneers, IEEE, 1995, pp. 747-748.
2. Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia, Niklaus Wirth, as of 06:12, 15 September 2007.