Inventor of Fortran: Who is John Backus?

John Backus is an American computer scientist and the inventor of Fortran, which is recorded as the first high-level programming language. He first studied chemistry, then medicine, and then engineering.

By Jane Dickens Published on 26 Haziran 2024 : 22:13.
Inventor of Fortran: Who is John Backus?

Backus, who was born in Philadelphia, USA, on December 3, 1924, developed Fortran (Formula Translator) in 1954 against the constant reprogramming of computers.

Backus was born as the middle child of a wealthy family. Backus had an introverted childhood after losing his mother.

John, who was known to be not very good at studies, somehow managed to graduate from high school in 1942. Backus, who was of university age, had no idea about the department he would study at the university. Therefore, at the request of his father, who was a chemist, he enrolled in the Chemistry department at the University of Virginia.

John Warner Backus (December 3, 1924 – March 17, 2007) was an American computer scientist. He led the team that invented and implemented FORTRAN, the first widely used high-level programming language, and was the inventor of the Backus–Naur form (BNF), a widely used notation to define syntaxes of formal languages. He later did research into the function-level programming paradigm, presenting his findings in his influential 1977 Turing Award lecture "Can Programming Be Liberated from the von Neumann Style?"

The young man, who was not very keen on studying chemistry, after a while felt an affinity for theoretical courses. Unfortunately, Backus could not establish the feeling he felt for theoretical lessons with practical lessons. It is even possible to say that he is quite distant from laboratory classes.

For this reason, his relationship with his department is quite short-lived. In his second semester at the university, John gradually fell out with the department and started not going to classes. This resulted in his expulsion from the university by the university's administration.

Thereupon, Backus, II. He joined the US Army during World War II. He was appointed as a corporal in the army. Meanwhile, he was subjected to many aptitude tests. When he showed outstanding success in one of these exams, the army enrolled him in the pre-engineering program at Pittsburg University.

Backus then transferred to the Haverford Medicine program. Meanwhile, John Backus was diagnosed with a tumor. A metal plate was placed on his head. When he felt uncomfortable with this plate, he had surgery again to insert a plate he designed himself.

Meanwhile, Baakus transferred his medical education to another university. However, after 9 months, he left the university on the grounds that the field of medicine was not suitable for him.

Backus, who first studied chemistry, then medicine, and then engineering, was the owner of many scientific awards.

Backus retired in 1991.

John Backus, one of the pioneers of the computer world who developed the Fortran programming language and paved the way for the modern software world, has passed away.

According to IBM, John Backus died in Ashland, Oregon, USA, on Saturday, March 17, 2007, at the age of 82.