- Franz Alt (mathematician)
Dr. Franz L. Alt (born 1910 in
Vienna, Austria) is an Austrian born American mathematicianwho made major contributions to computer sciencein its early days.
Franz Alt grew up in Austria and received a Ph.D. in
Mathematicsfrom the University of Viennain 1932, researching set-theoretic topologyand logical foundations of geometry.
He left Austria for the
United Statesafter the 1938 Anschluss. An avid skier, he served in the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division during World War IIreaching the rank of Second Lieutenant. After the war, he worked on the ENIACand other Army computing projects; later he worked in the Computing Laboratory of the National Bureau of Standards, and eventually at the American Institute of Physics.
He is best known as one of the founders of the
Association for Computing Machinery, having served as its president from 1950 to 1952; he also wrote one of the first books on digital computers, "Electronic Digital Computers" (Academic Press, 1958).
After retirement in 1973 he became active in a number of peace, justice and outdoors organizations. In 1994 he was inducted as an ACM Fellow.
He is presently the oldest surviving president of the ACM.
* "Beyond Calculation: The Next Fifty Years of Computing" (Springer, 1998). Contributor Bio.
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