David Gries

Digital Library

ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award

USA - 1995


In recognition of his leadership in the training of several generations of computer science students. His visionary emphasis on critical thinking and mathematical precision in Computer Science has dramatically changed the face of computer science education. This viewpoint is exemplified by his widely used textbooks on compilers, on the science of programming, and on mathematical foundations for computer science; by his role in curriculum development; and by his training of graduate students who have seeded his view as successful educators at other universities.

David Gries is the William L. Lewis Professor of Engineering at Cornell University. After a brief period on the faculty of Stanford, Professor Gries joined Cornell's faculty in 1969; he served as the chair of the Computer Science department for five years.

Professor Gries has authored or edited eleven books, as well as seventy articles. His 1971 textbook on compilers was the first in that area and set the standard for many subsequent years. It has been translated into five other languages and had an international impact on the teaching of compilers. His textbook (with R. Conway) on structured programming, which engendered four follow-on texts each geared towards different needs, has profoundly influenced several generations of computer science students. In particular, Professor Gries' books have championed the role of critical thinking and mathematical precision in all aspects of the teaching of computer science.

Professor Gries' impact on education reaches beyond his writings. He has played a central role in national curricula development committees; he has been a visible presence within national organizations in the discussion of future directions for computer science education; and he has educated a wealth of graduate students who now serve as senior faculty at major universities or as directors of major research laboratories. His colleagues at Cornell further note that Professor Gries often serves not just as a mentor for students at Cornell but as a mentor for his faculty colleagues as well. His commitment to excellence in education has dramatically influenced his own students, his colleagues, and the generations of students who have been exposed to his textbooks.

ACM Fellows

USA - 1994


For co-authoring of 'An Axiomatic Proof Technique for Parallel Programs I', the best paper in the area of Programming Systems and Languages.

ACM Programming Systems and Languages Paper Award

USA - 1977


Verifying properties of parallel programs: an axiomatic approach, Communications of the ACM, May 1976 (with Susan Owicki)