Every field of human endeavor has its leading contributors who are acclaimed for their theoretical insights, extensions of fundamental ideas, or innovative changes that have redefined the subject. Just as Beethoven, Schubert, Mozart, and Hayden ring true in the world of classical music, and the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and the Who stand out in rock-‘n’-roll, Edsger Dijkstra has a place reserved for him in the computer language hall of fame. Born to a Dutch chemist in Rotterdam in 1930, Dijk-stra grew up with a formalist predilection toward the world. While studying at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, he attended a summer course on program-ming in Cambridge, England, and became fascinated with programming. He took a part-time job at the Math-ematical Centre in Amsterdam in 1952, and he continued to work there after his graduation. He came to the United States in the early 1970s as a research fellow for Burroughs Corporation, and in September of 1984 he came to The University of Texas at Austin, where he held the Schlumberger Centennial Chair in Computer
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