Through pioneering research and wide-reaching textbooks, John Hopcroft and Jeffrey D. Ullman are known as two of the most influential figures responsible for shaping the field of computer science. These giants of computer science first met in 1964 when Dr. Ullman took Dr. Hopcroft’s automata theory course at Princeton University. Together, they wrote the book on automata theory and formal languages that was used by universities around the world to educate the first generation of computer scientists, Formal Languages and Their Relation to Automata. It’s successor, Automata Theory, Languages, and Computation, is still in use today.
Dr. Ullman also focused on compiler technology and code optimization, writing the definitive book on compiler technology (Principles of Compiler Design, Addison-Wesley, 1977) with Aho. In the late 1970s Dr. Ullman’s interests turned to database systems and he became known as one of the founders of database theory. Dr. Ullman is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and is currently the Stanford W. Ascherman Professor of Computer Science (Emeritus) at Stanford University, Calif., and currently heads Gradiance Corporation, Stanford, which he founded to provide online homework and programming-lab support for college students.