James A. Gosling

James A. Gosling
Fields of study


A world-class innovator for over 30 years, James A. Gosling’s development of the Java programming language in 1995 was a major milestone in computing that has had an immeasurable impact on computer science. Dr. Gosling combined the best ideas in programming languages with his own ideas to create the first widely deployed programming language featuring portability to allow transmission of code over the Internet from one computer to another for execution while still meeting security requirements. Its features include the portable "write once, run anywhere" byte-coded platform and libraries that makes use of a standard class file format that can be loaded and executed by any Java Virtual Machine; the robust and secure "sand box" approach; type-safe automatic storage management; just-in-time compilation; and platform scaling from cell phone to enterprise server. Used by approximately 9 million developers, Java is one of the most popular programming languages in history and can be found in servers, mobile phones, and the chips embedded in credit cards and identity badges. Dr. Gosling has also influenced software engineering methodology with important contributions during the 1980s. As a graduate student, he created one of the most widely used versions of the UNIX Emacs text editor. As a contributor to Carnegie Mellon’s Andrew Project, he developed the first UNIX windows manager and one of the first modern, multiformat text editors that allowed placement of tables, pictures, and graphics in a document. This open-source architecture influenced the evolution of Microsoft Windows. Dr. Gosling has also impacted the world of embedded systems with his early work on the ISIS II satellite, a real-time specification for Java, and his current work on autonomous ocean-going robots.

A member of the US National Academy of Engineering and an Officer of the Order Canada (second-highest Canadian civilian honor), Dr. Gosling is chief software architect with Liquid Robotics, Redwood, CA, USA.