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Innovation

Happy Birthday, Donald Knuth!

It's a day late, to be sure, but I only just realised. Donald Knuth was 70 (or 1000110) yesterday and, providing we stick to type integer, still is today.
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Written by Rupert Goodwins on

It's a day late, to be sure, but I only just realised. Donald Knuth was 70 (or 1000110) yesterday and, providing we stick to type integer, still is today.

Knuth is something of a patron saint of proper, literate computing. His Art Of Computer Programming books have set the standard for practical computer science for decades, while his computerised typesetting software {\mathrm{T\!_{\displaystyle E} \! X}} has been the standard for mathematical and scientific paper preparation for almost as long. Would that the Web were as well thought out.

So line up seven candles and light the first, fifth and sixth in celebration. If you can't do that, spend ten minutes today reading up about the man - his dry wit, keen perception and formidable intellect have touched so much of modern computing that it's a delight to come into any sort of contact with them. Even more so in the realisation that Knuth remains in the best of health and working away revising, musing and cocking an eyebrow at this rather messy, rather wonderful world of manipulated digits we're building on his foundations.

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