Alan Jay Perlis (April 1, 1922 – February 7, 1990) was an American computer scientist known for his pioneering work in programming languages and the first recipient of the Turing Award.
Perlis was born to a Jewish family in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1943, he received his bachelor's degree in chemistry from the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University). During World War II, he served in the U.S. Army, where he became interested in mathematics. He then earned both a master's degree (1949) and a Ph.D. (1950) in mathematics at MIT. His doctoral dissertation was titled "On Integral Equations, Their Solution by Iteration and Analytic Continuation".
In 1952, he participated in Project Whirlwind. He joined the faculty at Purdue University and then moved to the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1956. He was chair of mathematics and then the first head of the Computer Science Department. He was elected president of the Association for Computing Machinery in 1962...
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