Maurice V. Wilkes

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Maurice V. Wilkes 1980
Wilkes around 1949 building the EDSAC

Sir Maurice Vincent Wilkes (born June 26, 1913 in Dudley , † November 29, 2010 in Cambridge ) was a British computer scientist and physicist . In 1967 he received the Turing Award , in 1992 the Kyoto Prize .


Wilkes studied at St John's College (Bachelor 1934) and the Cavendish Laboratory (Master 1936, Ph.D. 1937, dissertation on the propagation of radio waves in the ionosphere ) of the University of Cambridge Physics. He then worked as a research assistant at the Mathematical Laboratory, the newly created computer laboratory at the University of Cambridge. After military service as a radar engineer from 1939 to 1945, he was appointed head of the computer laboratory. There he got a one-day insight into John von Neumann's First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC, brought to England by Leslie John Comrie , in 1946 and then attended the Moore School of Electrical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania for some lectures on the design of digital computers. He met Douglas Rayner Hartree , Howard Hathaway Aiken , Herman H. Goldstine , John William Mauchly and John Presper Eckert and discussed the future of computers with them. Back in Cambridge, he spent the next few years designing the EDSAC , the first practical computer with a stored program . He remained the head of the institute, which was renamed Computer Laboratory in the late 1960s, until 1980, and from 1965 was also professor of computer technology.

Wilkes was also a founding member and first president of the British Computer Society from 1957 to 1960 , a consultant at Digital Equipment Corporation from 1980 to 1986 , adjunct professor at MIT from 1981 to 1985 , councilor of ACM from 1991 to 1994 , and consultant from 1986 to 2002 in the Olivetti Research Strategy Board (from 1997 Olivetti & Oracle Research Lab, from 1999 AT&T Laboratories).

In 1951 he presented at a conference and in (among other things with David Wheeler first book on written) programming the micro programming before. From 1974 he dealt with network technology and designed one of the first versions of a token ring (Cambridge Ring) and in 1980, together with Roger Needham, the client-server system Cambridge Model Distributed System .

The ACM's Maurice Wilkes Award is presented in his honor .

Awards (selection)

Fonts (selection)

  • With Stanley Gill and David Wheeler : Preparation of Programs for an Electronic Digital Computer . Addison-Wesley, 1951.
  • Time-sharing computer systems . Macdonald, London 1968; American Elsevier, New York 1968. Also in German in Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich 1970.

Web links

Commons : Maurice V. Wilkes  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  2. ^ MV Wilkes The Best Way to Design an Automated Calculating Machine , Manchester University Computer Inaugural Conf., 1951, pp. 16-18, reprinted in Wilkes The Genesis of Microprogramming , IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, Volume 8, 1986, p 116-126. Further detailed in Wilkes, JB Stringer Microprogramming and the Design of the Control Circuits in an Electronic Digital Computer , Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, Volume 49, 1953, pp. 230-238