James Gosling

James Arthur Gosling, OC, is a Canadian computer scientist, best known as the father of the Java programming language.

In 1977, Gosling received a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Calgary. In 1983, he earned a Ph.D in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University, supervised by Bob Sproull. While working towards his doctorate, he wrote a version of Emacs called Gosling Emacs (Gosmacs).

Between 1984 and 2010, Gosling was with Sun Microsystems. He created the original design of Java in 1994 and implemented the language’s original compiler and virtual machine. In the work leading to Java at Sun, he saw that architecture-neutral execution for widely distributed programs could be achieved by implementing a similar philosophy: always program for the same virtual machine.

For his achievement he was elected to Foreign Associate member of the United States National Academy of Engineering. He has also made major contributions to several other software systems, such as NeWS and Gosling Emacs. He co-wrote the “bundle” program, a utility thoroughly detailed in Brian Kernighan and Rob Pike’s book The Unix Programming Environment.

Gosling was awarded The Economist Innovation Award in 2002, and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2007.

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