In this oral history interview, Albert Meyer discusses his long career in theoretical computer science, primarily as a professor at MIT. The interview begins with his discussion of his family background and youth in the Bronx, including his tenure at the Bronx High School of Science in the later 1950s. Meyer recounts his experiences as an undergraduate at Harvard College, and his gravitation to applied mathematics. He details his experiences as a graduate student at Harvard in applied mathematics, specializing in the theory of computation under Patrick Fischer. Meyer discusses his graduate research in computational complexity, and its connections to highly related work conducted contemporaneously with another of Fischer’s graduate students, Dennis M. Ritchie, in the second half of the 1960s. Meyer details and explains this work on the syntactical analysis of computational complexity and primitive recursive functions, and its place within the theory of computation. The interview concludes with an extended discussion of Meyer’s subsequent pursuits in computer science, ranging from complexity theory to logic and the semantics of programming.
Brock, David C., Interviewer
Meyer, Albert, Interviewee
Computer History Museum
Place of Publication
Computer science; MIT; Bronx High School of Science; Harvard College; Applied mathematics; Theory of computation; Fischer, Patrick; Ritchie, Dennis M., 1941-2011