Jack Minker

Jack Minker
Death date


Jack Minker was born on 4 July 1927, in Brooklyn, New York to Harry and Rose Minker. He attended Brooklyn College, where he earned a BA in 1949, an MA from the University of Wisconsin in 1950, and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1959. In 1967, he joined the faculty at the University of Maryland, and became the first chair of the computer science department in 1974, and Professor Emeritus in 1998.

Minker was a pioneer in deductive databases and disjunctive logic programming, including semantic query optimization. He developed the Generalized Closed World Assumption (GCWA), and had published more than 150 articles and edited five books.

Beginning in 1973, Minker served as vice-chair of the of the Committee of Concerned Scientists, and from 1980 to 1989, he served as vice-chair of the Committee on Scientific Freedom and Human Rights of the Association for Computing Machinery. Minker was an IEEE Life Fellow, and was the recipient of numerous awards related to his work in human rights issues related to scientists and engineers.

Further Reading

Scientific Freedom and Human Rights: Scientists of Conscience During the Cold War - Minker's published memoirs