Andrew S. Tanenbaum

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Andrew S. Tanenbaum : biography

March 16, 1944 –

In 2008, he tracked the presidential, Senate, and House races. For the presidential election, he got every state right except for Indiana, which he said McCain would win by 2% (Obama won by 1%) and Missouri, which he said was too close to call (McCain won by 0.1%). He correctly predicted all the winners in the Senate races except for Minnesota, where he predicted a 1% win by Norm Coleman. After 7 months of legal battling, Al Franken won this race by 312 votes (0.01%).

In 2010, he correctly projected 35 out of 37 Senate races in the Midterm elections on the website. The exceptions were Colorado and Nevada.

Tanenbaum–Torvalds debate

The Tanenbaum–Torvalds debate was a famous friendly debate between Tanenbaum and Linus Torvalds regarding kernel design on Usenet in 1992.

Awards

  • Fellow of the ACM
  • Fellow of the IEEE
  • Member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Honorary doctorate from Petru Maior University, Targu Mures, Romania
  • Winner of the 2010 TAA McGuffey award for classic textbooks for Modern Operating Systems
  • Coauthor of the Best Paper Award at the LADC Conference, 2009
  • Winner of a 2.5 million euro European Research Council Advanced Grant, 2008
  • USENIX Flame Award 2008 for his many contributions to systems design and to openness both in discussion and in source.
  • Honorary doctorate from Polytechnic University of Bucharest, Romania
  • Coauthor of the Best Paper Award at the Real-Time and Network Systems Conf., 2008
  • Winner of the 2007 IEEE James H. Mulligan, Jr. Education Medal
  • Coauthor of the Best Paper Award at the USENIX LISA Conf., 2006
  • Coauthor of the Best Paper for High Impact at the IEEE Percom Conf., 2006
  • Academy Professor, 2004
  • Winner of the 2003 TAA McGuffey award for classic textbooks for Computer Networks
  • Winner of the 2002 TAA Texty Award for new textbooks
  • Winner of the 1997 ACM SIGCSE for contributions to computer science education
  • Winner of the 1994 ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award
  • Coauthor of the 1984 ACM SOSP Distinguished Paper Award

Honorary doctorates

  • On October 7, 2011, Universitatea Petru Maior din Târgu Mureș (Petru Maior University of Târgu Mureș) granted Tanenbaum the Doctor Honoris Causa (honorary doctorate) title for his remarkable work in the field of computer science and achievements in education. The academic community is hereby honoring his devotion to teaching and research with this award. At the ceremony, the Chancellor, the Rector, the Dean of the Faculty of Sciences and Letters, and others all spoke about Tanenbaum and his work. The pro-rector then read the ‘laudatio,’ summarizing Tanenbaum’s achievements. These include his work developing MINIX (the predecessor to Linux), the RFID Guardian, his work on Globe, Amoeba, and other systems, and his many books on computer science, which have been translated in many languages, including Romanian, and which are used at Petru Maior University.
  • On May 12, 2008, Tanenbaum received an honorary doctorate from Universitatea Politehnica din București. The award was given in the academic senate chamber, after which Tanenbaum gave a lecture on his vision of the future of the computer field. The degree was given in recognition of Tanenbaum’s career work, which includes about 150 published papers, 18 books (which have been translated into over 20 languages), and the creation of a large body of open-source software, including the Amsterdam Compiler Kit, Amoeba, Globe, and MINIX.

Biography

He was born in New York City and grew up in suburban White Plains, New York. He received his bachelor of Science degree in Physics from MIT in 1965. He received his Ph.D. degree in physics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1971. Tanenbaum served as a lobbyist for the Sierra Club.

He moved to the Netherlands to live with his wife, who is Dutch, but he retains his United States citizenship. He teaches courses about Computer Organization and Operating Systems and supervises the work of Ph.D. candidates at the VU University Amsterdam.