Juris Hartmanis


August 12, 2022

Juris Hartmanis (born May 5, 1928 in Riga, died July 29, 2022) - an American computer scientist of Latvian origin, considered a co-creator (with Richard E. Stearns) of the theory of computational complexity, for which they both received the Turing Prize in 1993.

Childhood, youth and education

Juris Hartmanis was born the son of a high officer in the Latvian army. After the country was occupied by the Soviet Union, his father was arrested and died in prison. After the Second World War, the rest of the family emigrated to Germany, where Juris graduated in 1949 in physics at the University of Marburg. He then left for the United States, where he studied mathematics and obtained his master's degree in 1951. He obtained his doctorate in 1955 from the California Institute of Technology on the basis of the dissertation "Some Embedding Theorems for Lattices" written by Robert Palmer Dilworth.

Scientific career

After defending his doctorate, Hartmanis started working as an academic at Cornell University (1955–1957) and at the Ohio State University (1957–1958). Then he moved to the industrial sector and worked for the following years at the Research Laboratory of General Electric. It was there that he and Richard Stearns explored how much time and memory are needed to solve various computational problems. They resulted in their joint work, which is believed to be the beginning of complexity theory, and which would win them both the Turing Prize. Hartmanis later continued this research topic. In 1965 he became a professor at Cornell University, where he created one of the world's first Computer Science Departments and became its first dean. He held this position three times, in the years 1965-1971, 1977-1982 and 1992-1993. Since 1980, his chair has been called the Walter R. Read Professor of Engineering. Juris Hartmanis has written over 140 scientific papers and published 4 books.

Scientific awards and distinctions

In 1993, Juris Hartmanis and Richard E. Stearns received the Turing Prize, awarded by the Association for Computing Machinery in recognition of their innovative work that laid the foundations for the field of computational complexity theory in recognition of their seminal paper which established the foundations for the field of computational complexity theory). We are talking about an article J. Hartmanis, R. E. Stearns, "On the Computational Complexity of Algorithms," Transactions of the American Mathematical Society, Vol. 117, Number 5, May 1965, pp. 285-306 in which they, among other things, defined the fundamental concept of complexity class. In addition, Juris Hartmanis was elected a member of: US National Academy of Engineering, 1989 Latvian Academy of Sciences, 1990 (as foreign member) New York State Academy of Sciences, 1982 Association for Computing Machinery, 1994 American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1992 American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1981 He also received the gold medal of the Bernard Bolzan Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (1995) and the Grand Medal of the Latvian Academy of Sciences (2001). Juris Hartmanis holds honorary degrees from the University of Dortmund (1995) and the University of Missouri, Kansas City (1999).



Juris Hartmanis biography on the Turing Prize website. Association for Computing Machinery. [accessed on 2012-09-15].

External Links

Lecture by Juris Hartmanis at the Turing Awards Juris Hartmanis' bibliography on the DBLP website Juris Hartmanis' PhD students at the Mathematics Genealogy Project