The story of computing is not just the story of technology, it is also the story of the men and women who made that technology real. Here you will find scientists, mathematicians, programmers, engineers, entrepreneurs, artists, and many more, both young and old, a veritable microcosm of humanity. Most of these people will be familiar to insiders of computing, but only few are known or celebrated beyond the domain. We’ve selected several hundred candidates for who we consider the most important computing people.
We’d like you to help us validate and evolve that list by voting here. On that page, you’ll be presented with a random pair of computing people. Select the person you think is more important to the field by clicking on their photograph. If you don’t know who they are or if you want more information about them, click on their name above their photograph and you’ll be directed to their Wikipedia entry. If you don’t know either person or if you simply can’t decide, then skip the choice. You can keep voting for as long as you wish (please encourage your colleagues to do so as well). In the process, you’ll be helping our research efforts, and you might learn some things about important people you’ve never heard of before. You’ll find the current voting results here.
We’ve draw this collection from a variety of sources. First, we’ve studied many books about the people of computing, each of whom has made a unique contribution to advancing the field. We’ve also looked at many of the awards offered by the ACM, IEEE, and BCS, as well as reviewed the membership of the NAE and the American Academy. We’ve studied those whose work is cited the most in publications. And finally, we’ve asked other insiders to computing. If you’d like to submit a new candidate, contact us here.