Alfred V. Aho


Alfred V. Aho
Associated organizations
Bell Labs
Fields of study


Alfred Aho's many contributions to computer science as a researcher, manager and educator demonstrate an elegant balance of theory and practice. His innovative research in formal languages and compiler theory led to key algorithms for modern compilers and string-pattern matching tools. His algorithms are used in widely deployed compiler construction tools like YACC and LEX, which have been used to design many computer programming languages.

Dr. Aho conducted research at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, N.J., from 1967-1991. During that time, he developed efficient algorithms for text processing applications and programming language translation. His code generation algorithms influenced the design of retargetable C compilers, which facilitated the porting of the UNIX operating system from minicomputers to supercomputers. He worked at Bellcore in Murray Hill, N.J., from 1991-1995 and then became a professor of computer science at Columbia University in New York. He later joined Lucent Technologies in Murray Hill, N.J., as an associate research vice president and vice president of computing sciences research. In 2002, he returned to Columbia as a professor of computer science and is chair of the Computer Science Department.

Dr. Aho co-wrote several of computer science's most used textbooks including The Design and Analysis of Computer Algorithms; Compilers: Principles, Techniques, and Tools; and The AWK Programming Language. He has served on many professional committees including the U.S. National Research Council's Committee on Information Technology Literacy and the Advisory Committee of the National Science Foundation Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate. From 1992-1994 he also was editor of the Proceedings of the IEEE.

A member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, Dr. Aho is a Fellow of the IEEE, Association for Computing Machinery, Bell Labs, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.