Fred P. Brooks, American computer architect, software engineer and computer scientist, on November 17, 2022 local timepassed awayat the age of 91 (April 19, 1931 – November 17, 2022).

Fred led the development of the IBM System/360 family of computers and the OS/360 software support package, which helped revolutionize the data processing industry. He later published The Mythical Man-Month, documenting his experience leading the development of the aforementioned projects while at IBM; one of the seminal and far-reaching books on the practice of software engineering.

According to Wikipedia, Brooks was born in Durham, North Carolina, and attended Duke University, graduating in 1953 with a bachelor’s degree in physics. in Applied Mathematics (Computer Science) from Harvard University in 1956 under Howard Aiken (American physicist and computing pioneer, original conceptual designer behind the IBM Harvard Mark I computer).

Brooks joined IBM in 1956 and was involved in the architecture of the IBM 7030 Stretch, a $10 million scientific supercomputer of which nine were sold; and the IBM 7950 Harvest computer for the US National Security Agency. He then became a development manager for the IBM System/360 family of computers and OS/360 software packages. During this time, he coined the term “computer architecture”.

In 1964, Brooks was invited to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he founded the university’s computer science department and presided over the work for 20 years. As of 2013, he is still doing active research there, mainly in virtual environments and scientific visualization.

A few years after leaving IBM, Brooks wrote The Mythical Man-Month, published in 1975, in which he famously formulated the law that “Adding people to a project that is behind schedule will only slow down the progress.” more backward”, a phrase that came to be known as “Brooks’ Law”. And another quote “Show me your flowcharts and hide your tables, and I’m still baffled; if you show me your tables, then I won’t need your flowcharts anymore, because they’re too obvious”.like Hacker News As mentioned by netizens, in other words, it is what Linus Torvalds said “bad programmers worry about code, and good programmers worry about data structures and their relationships”.

In 1995, the 20th anniversary edition of The Mythical Man-Month added four new chapters. In addition to The Mythical Man-Month, Brooks has authored or co-authored numerous books and papers, including Automatic Data Processing, No Silver Bullet, Computer Architecture, and By Design, among others.

He has received countless awards, including the National Medal of Technology awarded by then US President Ronald Reagan for his outstanding contribution to the development of IBM/360 in 1985, the Turing Award in 1999 and the IEEE Three awards, the McDowell Award (1970), the Computing Pioneer Award (1980) and the Von Neumann Award (1993).

Brooks has stated that he considers himselfThe greatest technical achievement lies in theWill IBM 360 series changed from 6-bit to 8-bit byte:The most important decision I’ve ever made was to IBM 360 series changed from 6-bit to 8-bit bytethus achieving Use of lowercase letters,The change propagated everywhere. “

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