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David Wheeler

David Wheeler

1927 - 2004

Along with Maurice Wilkes and Stanley Gill, David Wheeler is credited with the invention in around 1951 of the subroutine and he gave the first explanation of how to design software libraries. He went on to produce outstanding work in the areas of data compression, security and encryption, forging a successful academic career.

In the summer of 1948, while a research student at Cambridge University and volunteering on EDSAC, David Wheeler was seconded to J. Lyons and Co. for a few weeks to work on business computing programming, even though at that point the EDSAC wasn’t yet running. At Lyons, work on programming had started very much prior to the construction of the hardware. Wheeler was influential in developing both LEO’s initial orders and the payroll program, working with Derek Hemy. Wheeler later published the first book on programming (1951) and is recognised as contributing significantly to EDSAC’s success.

David Wheeler has an entry written by Martin Campbell-Kelly in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, published 3 January 2008.




Photograph of David Wheeler Click for a larger version

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