Fred Brooks

Fred Brooks

name = Frederick Phillips Brooks, Jr.

birth_date = Birth date and age|1931|4|19|mf=y
birth_place = Durham, North Carolina
field = Computer Science
work_institutions = IBM
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
known_for = OS/360 "The Mythical Man-Month"
prizes = Turing Award
doctoral_advisor = Howard Aiken

Frederick Phillips Brooks, Jr. (born April 19, 1931) is a software engineer and computer scientist, best-known for managing the development of OS/360, then later writing candidly about the process in his seminal book "The Mythical Man-Month". "It is a very humbling experience to make a multi-million-dollar mistake, but it is also very memorable." Brooks received a Turing Award in 1999 and many other awards.

Life and career

Born in Durham, North Carolina, he attended Duke University, graduating in 1953, and he received a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics (Computer Science) from Harvard University in 1956. Howard Aiken was his advisor.

Brooks joined IBM in 1956, working in Endicott and Yorktown, New York. He worked on the architecture of the Stretch (a $10m scientific supercomputer for the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory) and Harvest computers and then was manager for the development of the System/360 family of computers and the OS/360 software they ran.

It was in "The Mythical Man-Month" that Brooks made the now-famous statement: "Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later." This has since come to be known as "Brooks's law." In addition to "The Mythical Man-Month", Brooks is known for "No Silver Bullet", an essay on software engineering.

In 1965, Brooks left IBM to found the Department of Computer Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and chaired it for 20 years. As of 2006 he was still engaged in active research there, primarily in virtual worlds and molecular graphics.

In the mid 1980's, Brooks gave a talk at De Anza College, near the headquarters of Apple Computer. Apple executive Jean-Louis Gassée had ordered a copy of "The Mythical Man-Month" for every Apple engineer, technical writer, and other product-development employee. The lecture hall was filled with Apple employees, most holding well-thumbed copies of the book. After the lecture, Brooks had a number of interesting conversations with Apple employees, many of whom had learned the book's lessons the hard way.

In January 2005 he gave the IEE/BCS annual Turing Lecture in London on the subject of "Collaboration and Telecollaboration in Design". In 1994 he was inducted as a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery.

A "20th anniversary" revised edition of "The Mythical Man-Month" was published in 1995.

He is also an evangelical Christian who is active with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students. [ Faculty Biography] at UNC.]


*cite book
first = Frederick P.
last = Brooks
coauthors = Kenneth Iverson
year = 1963
title = Automatic Data Processing
publisher =
id =

*cite book
first = Frederick P.
last = Brooks
coauthors = Kenneth Iverson
year = 1965
title = Automatic Data Processing, System/360 Edition
publisher =
id = ISBN 0-471-10605-4

*cite book
first = Frederick P.
last = Brooks
year = 1975, 2nd ed. 1995
title = The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering
publisher =
id = ISBN 0-201-83595-9

*cite book
first = Frederick P.
last = Brooks
year = 1987
title = No Silver Bullet: Essence and Accidents of Software Engineering
publisher =
id =
(reprinted in the second edition of "The Mythical Man-Month")
*cite book
first = Frederick P.
last = Brooks
coauthors = G. A. Blaauw
year = 1997
title =
publisher =
id = ISBN 0-201-10557-8

ervice and Memberships

He has served on a number of U.S. national boards and committees. [ Home Page] ]

* National Science Board (1987–92)
* Defense Science Board (1983–86)
* Chairman, Military Software Task Force (1985–87)
* Member, Computers in Simulation and Training Task Force (1986–87)
* Member, Artificial Intelligence Task Force (1983–84)


In chronological order, from [|Home Page] ]
*Eckert-Mauchly Award, Association for Computing Machinery and The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers–Computer Society (2004)

* Member, National Academy of Science (2001)
*Fellow Award, The Computer Museum History Center (2001)

*A.M. Turing Award, Association for Computing Machinery (1999)

*CyberEdge Journal Annual Sutherland Award (April, 1997)

*Bower Award and Prize in Science, Franklin Institute (1995)

*Allen Newell Award, Association for Computing Machinery (1994)

*Fellow (initial inductee), Association for Computer Machinery (1994)

*Distinguished Fellow, British Computer Society (1994)

*Foreign Member, Royal Academy of Engineering, UK (1994)

*Foreign Member, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (1991)

*John von Neumann Medal, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (1993)

*Honorary Doctor of Technical Science, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH Zurich (1991)

*Harry H. Goode Memorial Award, American Federation of Information Processing Societies (1989)

*National Medal of Technology (1985)

*McDowell Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Computer Art, IEEE Computer Group (1970)

*Distinguished Service Award, Association for Computing Machinery (1987)

*Thomas Jefferson Award, UNC-Chapel Hill (1986)

*Member, National Academy of Engineering (1976)

*Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1976)

*Guggenheim Fellowship for studies on computer architecture and human factors of computer systems, Cambridge University, England (1975)

*Computer Pioneer Award, IEEE Computer Society (1982)

* Computer Sciences Distinguished Information Services Award, Information Technology Professionals (1970)

*Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (1968)

* Order of the Golden Fleece, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

ee also

* Gerrit Blaauw
* Simulated reality


External links

* [ Fred Brooks' homepage]

NAME= Brooks, Frederick Phillips, Jr.
SHORT DESCRIPTION= Computer scientist
DATE OF BIRTH= Birth date and age|1931|4|19|mf=y
PLACE OF BIRTH= Durham, North Carolina

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