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Donald Ervin Knuth was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on January 10, 1938. His father owned a small printing business and taught bookkeeping at Milwaukee Lutheran High School, where he enrolled, and earning achievement awards. He applied his intelligence in unconventional ways, winning a contest when he was in eighth grade by finding over 4,500 words that could be formed from the letters in "Ziegler's Giant Bar"; the judges had only about 2,500 words on their master list. This won him a television set for his school and a candy bar for everyone in his class. Knuth had a difficult time choosing physics over music as his major at Case Institute of Technology. While studying physics at the Case Institute of Technology, Knuth was introduced to the IBM 650, one of the early mainframes. After reading the computer's manual, Knuth decided to rewrite the assembly and compiler code for the machine used in his school, because he believed he could do it better. In 1958, Knuth constructed a program based on the value of each player that could help his school basketball team win the league. This was so novel a proposition at the time that it got picked up and published by Newsweek and also covered by Walter Cronkite on the CBS Evening News. Knuth was one of the founding editors of the Engineering and Science Review, which won a national award as best technical magazine in 1959. He then switched from physics to mathematics, and in 1960 he received his Bachelor of Science degree, soon after receiving his Master of Science degree by a special award of the faculty who considered his work outstanding. In 1963, he earned a Ph.D. in mathematics from the California Institute of Technology, and began to work there as associate professor and began work on The Art of Computer Programming. In 1971, Knuth was the recipient of the first ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award. He has received various other awards including...
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