The seeds of Stanford’s currently most popular undergraduate major, computer science, grew from the university’s administrative needs, and those of science and engineering research. Provost Fred Terman’s prescient vision of an emerging discipline—the science and engineering of computation—led to the 1957 hiring of George Forsythe to fill a Math Department position specifically created for computer science (CS). In 1961, Forsythe launched a graduate CS program—a division of the Math Department—and recruited key faculty. Four years later, it was spun off as a separate department. CS expanded to include an undergraduate major after it moved, in 1985, to the School of Engineering. A half-century after it began, the Computer Science Department still ranks at or near the top in international ratings. Our panelists have played significant roles in the Stanford CS story.
Alex Aiken, Alcatel-Lucent Professor and Tencent Chair of Computer Science
Edward A. Feigenbaum, Kumagai Professor in the School of Engineering, Emeritus; Former Chair of Computer Science
Donald E. Knuth, Fletcher Jones Professor of Computer Science, Emeritus
Nils J. Nilsson, Kumagai Professor in the School of Engineering, Emeritus; Former Chair of Computer Science
Mehran Sahami, Professor of Computer Science; Associate Chair for Education and Director of Educational Affairs, Computer Science