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Jacob T. Schwartz
Prof. Jacob T. Schwartz in 1987
Born(1930-01-09)January 9, 1930
DiedMarch 2, 2009(2009-03-02) (aged 79)
Manhattan, New York
Alma materCity College of New York (B.S., 1949)
Yale University (M.A., 1949; Ph.D., 1952)
Known forDunford-Schwartz theorem
AwardsLeroy P. Steele Prize (1981)
Scientific career
FieldsApplied mathematics
Computer sciences
InstitutionsYale University
New York University
Doctoral advisorNelson Dunford
Doctoral studentsJerry Hobbs
Ken Kennedy
Robert Kupperman
Stanley Osher
Gian-Carlo Rota
Shmuel Winograd
Salvatore J. Stolfo

Jacob Theodore "Jack" Schwartz (January 9, 1930 – March 2, 2009)[1] was an American mathematician, computer scientist, and professor of computer science at the New York University Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. He was the designer of the SETL programming language and started the NYU Ultracomputer project. He founded the New York University Department of Computer Science, chairing it from 1964 to 1980.[1]

Early life

Schwartz was born in The Bronx, New York on January 9, 1930, to Ignatz and Hedwig Schwartz. He attended Stuyvesant High School and went on to City College of New York.[2]


Schwartz received his B.S. (1949) from the City College of New York and his M.A. (1949) and Ph.D. in mathematics (1952) from Yale University. His doctoral thesis was entitled Linear Elliptic Differential Operators[3] and his thesis advisor was Nelson Dunford.[2]


Schwartz's research interests included the theory of linear operators, von Neumann algebras, quantum field theory, time-sharing, parallel computing, programming language design and implementation, robotics, set-theoretic approaches in computational logic, proof and program verification systems; multimedia authoring tools; experimental studies of visual perception; multimedia and other high-level software techniques for analysis and visualization of bioinformatic data.

Schwartz authored 18 books and more than 100 papers and technical reports. He wrote the three-volume textbook Linear Operators with Nelson Dunford. He was also the inventor of the Artspeak programming language, which historically ran on mainframes and produced graphical output using a single-color graphical plotter.[4]

Schwartz served as chairman of the Computer Science Department (which he founded) at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University, from 1969 to 1977. He also served as chairman of the Computer Science Board of the National Research Council and was the former chairman of the National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for Information, Robotics and Intelligent Systems. From 1986 to 1989, he was the director of DARPA's Information Science and Technology Office (DARPA/ISTO) in Arlington, Virginia.

Personal life

Schwartz was previously married to computer scientist Frances E. Allen from 1972 to 1982.


Awards and honors