Andrew S. Tanenbaum


Andrew S. Tanenbaum : biography

March 16, 1944 –



He is well recognized for his textbooks on computer science:

  • Computer Networks, co-authored with David J. Wetherall
  • Operating Systems: Design and Implementation, co-authored with Albert Woodhull,
  • Modern Operating Systems,
  • Distributed Operating Systems,
  • Structured Computer Organization,
  • Distributed Systems: Principles and Paradigms, co-authored with Maarten van Steen,

Operating Systems: Design and Implementation and MINIX were Linus Torvalds’ inspiration for the Linux kernel. In his autobiography Just for Fun, Torvalds describes it as "the book that launched me to new heights".

His books have been translated into many languages including Arabic, Basque, Bulgarian, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Macedonian, Mexican Spanish, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish. They have appeared in over 120 editions and are used at universities around the world.

Doctoral students

Tanenbaum has had a number of Ph.D. students who themselves have gone on to become widely known computer science researchers. These include:

  • Henri Bal, a professor at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam;
  • Frans Kaashoek, a professor at MIT;
  • Sape Mullender, a researcher at Bell Labs;
  • Robbert van Renesse, a professor at Cornell University;
  • Leendert van Doorn, a fellow at the AMD Corporation;
  • Werner Vogels, the Chief Technology Officer at

Dean of the Advanced School for Computing and Imaging

In the early 1990s, the Dutch government began setting up a number of thematically oriented research schools that spanned multiple universities. These schools were intended to bring professors and Ph.D. students from different Dutch (and later, foreign) universities together to help them cooperate and enhance their research.

Tanenbaum was one of the cofounders and first Dean of the Advanced School for Computing and Imaging (ASCI). This school initially consisted of nearly 200 faculty members and Ph.D. students from the Vrije Universiteit, University of Amsterdam, Delft University of Technology, and Leiden University working in the areas of advanced computer systems, especially parallel computing, and image analysis and processing.

Tanenbaum remained Dean for 12 years, until 2005, when he was awarded an Academy Professorship by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, at which time he became a full-time research professor. ASCI has since grown to include researchers from nearly a dozen universities in The Netherlands, Belgium, and France. ASCI offers Ph.D. level courses, has an annual conference, and runs various workshops every year.