John Cocke

  • From:

    IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights | Yorktown Heights, New York

  • Year:

    2000

  • Subject:

    Computer and Cognitive Science

  • Award:

    Benjamin Franklin Medal

  • Citation:

    For the development of reduced instruction set computing (RISC), which has led to a revolution in computer architecture.

A lifelong innovator in computer design, John Cocke invented a microprocessor design that allowed much faster computing, and the computers using his technology are called reduced instruction-set computers (RISC).

Over his years at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Cocke also devised groundbreaking innovations relating to software compilers, speech-recognition technology, and data storage.

Born in 1925, Cocke received a Ph.D in mathematics from Duke University in 1956 and went on to IBM, where he remained until his retirement. Cocke received the Turing Award in 1987, the National Medal of Technology in 1991, and the National Medal of Science in 1994. Cocke died in 2002 at age 77.

Information as of 2002