Bjarne Stroustrup

Bjarne Stroustrup

2015 Fellow

For his invention of the C++ programming language.

Design and programming are human activities; forget that and all is lost. Bjarne Stroustrup


Bjarne Stroustrup was born in Aarhus, Denmark, in 1950. He received a master's in mathematics from Aarhus University in 1975 and a PhD in computer science from Cambridge University in 1979.

Stroustrup then joined Bell Labs' Computer Science Research Center in Murray Hill, New Jersey, where he designed and implemented C++. This language, based on C and inspired by Simula, provides a set of general and flexible abstraction mechanisms that can be mapped directly and efficiently onto computer hardware. C++ revolutionized the software industry by enabling a variety of software development techniques-including object-oriented programming, generic programming, and general resource management-to be deployed at scale. For more than two decades, C++ has been among the most widely used programming languages, with applications in areas including general systems programming, communications, computer graphics, games, user-interfaces, embedded systems, financial systems, avionics, and scientific computation. The influence of C++ and the ideas it pioneered and popularized are clearly visible far beyond the C++ community.

Over the next decades, Stroustrup guided the further evolution of C++ through his involvement in its ISO standards effort, his books, and his many academic and popular papers.

Stroustrup is a managing director in the technology division of Morgan Stanley in New York City, a visiting professor at Columbia University, and a Distinguished Research Professor at Texas A&M University (where he taught for a decade). His research interests include design, programming techniques, distributed systems, performance, reliability, and maintainability.

His honors include: ACM's Grace Murray Hopper Award (1993), member of the US National Academy of Engineering (2004), Sigma Xi's William Procter Prize for Scientific Achievement (2005), and Aarhus University's Rigmor og Carl Holst-Knudsens Videnskapspris (2010). He is a Fellow of IEEE and ACM.