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C. A. R. Hoare

(Redirected from Tony Hoare)

Sir Charles Antony Richard Hoare (Tony Hoare) is a British computer scientist, probably best known for the development of Quicksort, the world's most widely used sorting algorithm, and perhaps even the world's most widely used algorithm of any kind, in 1960. He also developed Hoare logic, and the formal language Communicating Sequential Processes (CSP) used to specify the interactions of concurrent processes and the inspiration for the Occam programming language.

Born in Colombo (Sri Lanka) to British parents, he received his Bachelor's degree in Classics from the University of Oxford in 1956. He remained an extra year at Oxford studying graduate-level statistics, and then studied computer translation of human languages at Moscow State University in Russia. In 1960, he started working at Elliot Brothers , Ltd, a small computer manufacturing firm, where he implemented ALGOL 60 and began developing algorithms in earnest. He became a Professor of Computing Science at Queen's University, Belfast in 1968, and in 1977 moved back to Oxford as a Professor of Computing. He is now an Emeritus Professor there, and is also a senior researcher at Microsoft Research in Cambridge, England.

He received the 1980 ACM Turing Award for "his fundamental contributions to the definition and design of programming languages". The award was presented to him at the ACM Annual Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, on October 27, 1980, by Walter Carlson , Chairman of the Awards committee.

Hoare logic is named after him.


In his Turing Award acceptance lecture [1], Hoare made the following oft-quoted humorous claim:

"I conclude that there are two ways of constructing a software design: One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies and the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies."

"We should forget about small efficiencies, say about 97% of the time: premature optimization is the root of all evil." (This quote has also been attributed to Donald E. Knuth and Robert Floyd.)

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Last updated: 10-24-2004 05:10:45