EdsgerWybeDijkstra was one of the pioneers of ComputerScience and renowned for the insight that mathematical logic is and must be the basis for sensible computer program construction. He was a large force in developing mathematical methodology in ComputerScience and responsible for the idea of building OperatingSystems as explicitly synchronized sequential processes.

ComputerScience is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes.

It is only consequent that one of his most well known papers is GoToStatementConsideredHarmful, but he also wrote over thirteen hundred other works, all using the fountain pen rather than a computer, which are archived in digital form at

His eloquence and way with words is famous. Many concepts and phrases now common in computing originate from him: structured programming, separation of concerns, Synchronisation, Semaphore?, DeadlyEmbrace, DiningPhilosophers, weakest PreCondition, guarded command, the excluded miracle. He may have been the one who first used the words "vector" and "Stack" in a computing context with their now established meanings. Other quotations of him to demonstrate his sharp wit

"The question of whether computers can think is like the question of whether submarines can swim."

"Do only what only you can do." (In advice to a promising researcher who asked how to select a topic for research.)

"In their capacity as a tool, computers will be but a ripple on the surface of our culture. In their capacity as intellectual challenge, they are without precedent in the cultural history of mankind." (In his Turing Award lecture.)

He was uncompromisingly critical of everything. Few of his known quotations are good words. Just look at some of them by following the BackLinks for this page.

Much of the excitement we get out of our work is that we don't really know what we are doing.

Of note is that he was citizen of both the Netherlands, where he was born, as well as of the US. His actual first name is Edsger, while in America he is often called Edgar.