Top 10 Jewish Computer Scientists

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Updated on 9 May, 2012 at 8:27 am


One of the most noticeable characteristics of Jewish people is that they are surpassingly innovative and intelligent. Wherever they’ve gone, whatever they’ve done, they’ve been, no doubt, widely appreciated. And talking about the realm of computer science, we have witnessed some brainiac of Jewish fraternity who are, till the date, dominating the wide landscape of computer and Internet. Here are ten most notable Jewish computer scientists, best known for shaping the field of computer and making our lives better by their radical innovations and ideas.

10. Leonard Kleinrock:

Best known for his significant contributions in the field of computer networking, Leonard Kleinrock was born in a Jewish family on June 13, 1934, in New York City. Holder of a master degree in electrical engineering and a Ph. D. in computer science; both from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Kleinrock is currently a professor of computer science at Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, at University of California. For his rigorous work in packet switching and in modern data networks, he was awarded with the esteemed National Medal of Science, the biggest scientific honor in the United States.

9. John George Kemeny:

Born on May 31, 1926, in Budapest, Hungary, John George Kemeny was an eminent American computer scientist, who is widely known for being the co-developer of the BASIC programming language. After completing his studies in mathematics and philosophy from Princeton University, he joined the team of Albert Einstein as a mathematical assistant and later earned doctorate for his thesis, entitled “Type-Theory vs. Set-Theory.” From 1970 to 1981, he served as the President of Dartmouth College where he emphasized the use of computers in educational sector.

8. William F. Friedman:

Counted among one of the most notable cryptographers in the field of computer science, William F. Friedman was born on September 24, 1891, in Kishinev, Bessarabia. After completing his studies from Michigan Agricultural College (today known as Michigan State University), he joined the “Riverbank Laboratories,” heading the Department of Genetics. Later, he was appointed as a cryptographer in the Signals Intelligence Service (SIS) of the United States Army where he along with Frank Rowlett cracked “PURPLE,” a cryptographic machine of the Japanese Foreign Office.


7. Hal Abelson:

An authoritative member of IEEE and founding father of both Free Software Foundation and the Creative Commons, Hal Abelson is a widely celebrated computer scientist of modern genre. Abelson’s academic credentials involve a Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University as well as a Ph. D. in mathematics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Currently, he is a professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, and also a visiting faculty member of Google‘s team of “App Inventor for Android.”

6. Manuel Blum:

Born on April 26, 1938, in Caracas, Venezuela, to a Jewish family, Manuel Blum is best known in the field of computer science for discovering the computational complexity theory and its application to cryptography and program checking. For this revolutionary achievement, Blum was awarded with Turing Award in 1995. After receiving his bachelor’s as well as master’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT, he earned a Ph. D. in mathematics under the guidance of professor Marvin Minsky, a notable American cognitive scientist. Blum had also served as a professor of computer science at at Carnegie Mellon University.

5. Leonard Adleman:

A renowned professor of computer science and molecular biology at the University of Southern California, Leonard Adleman is best known for being a co-inventor of RSA, an algorithm for public-key cryptography which is used in security system. Adleman is also the founding father of DNA Computing. Born on December 31, 1945, in California, this notable computer scientist holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics as well as a Ph. D. in EECS. In 1996, he, along with Adi Shamir and Ron Rivest received the famous Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award which is generally termed as the Nobel Prize of computer science.

4. John von Neumann:

Generally reckoned as one of the greatest computer scientists as well as mathematicians in the modern history, John von Neumann has significantly contributed in wide number of fields. Born to wealthy Jewish parents on December 28, 1903, in Budapest, this mega-nerd holds a Ph. D. in mathematics from Pázmány Péter University. Apart from contributing in game theory, quantum mechanics, linear programming, statistics, set theory and other computing branches, he had also served as a top-notch member of the Manhattan Project and Institute for Advanced Study, in Princeton.

3. Bob Kahn:

Co-founder of the Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), Bob Kahn is a revolutionary name without which one can’t imagine the functions of Internet. Kahn holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the City College of New York as well as an M.A. and a Ph. D. from the Princeton University. Winner of numerous reputable awards, this computer scientist is also the founding father of Corporation for National Research Initiatives, a non-profit organization dedicated to strategic development of network-based information technologies.

2. Sergey Brin:

Co-founder of the magical search engine “Google,” Sergey Mikhaylovich Brin was born on August 21, 1973, in Moscow. Brin was six when his family moved to the United States. In 1990, after finishing his grade school, he was enrolled in University of Maryland to study computer science and mathematics, thus finishing his Bachelor of Science. Later, he went to Stanford University where he met his future business partner Larry Page. Rest is history!


1. Larry Page:

An incredible innovator of this century, Larry Page is an American brainiac who along with Sergey Brin co-founded the Google. Born on March 26, 1973, in Lansing, Michigan, Page’s mother and father were professors of computer science at the Michigan State University. From childhood, he was surrounded with computers and science magazines. After earning a Bachelor of Science in computer engineering from the University of Michigan, he went to Stanford University for higher studies. Very soon, Page and Brin became fast friends and both started working on a research project during their Ph. D. After developing the PageRank algorithm, they finally registered the domain name on September 15, 1988 and initiated a journey of an endless fame.

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