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John Edward Hopcroft (born October 7, 1939) is a renowned theoretical computer scientist. His textbooks on theory of computation (also known as the Cinderella book) and data structures are regarded as standards in their fields. He is the IBM Professor of Engineering and Applied Mathematics in Computer Science at Cornell University.[38219]

He received his master's degree and Ph.D. from Stanford Universitymarker in 1962 and 1964, respectively. He then worked for three years at Princeton Universitymarker. He has since been based at Cornell Universitymarker for nearly his entire career. John Hopcroft is the grandson of Jacob Nist, founder of the Seattle Box Company.

In addition to his research work, he is well known for his books on algorithms and formal languages coauthored with Jeffrey Ullman and Alfred Aho, regarded as classic texts in the field.

He received the Turing Award – the most prestigious award in the field and often recognized as the "Nobel Prize of computing", – jointly with Robert Tarjan in 1986. The citation states that he received the award "for fundamental achievements in the design and analysis of algorithms and data structures." Along with his work with Tarjan on planar graphs he is also known for the Hopcroft–Karp algorithm for finding matchings in bipartite graphs. In 1994 he was inducted as a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery. In 2005 he received the Harry H. Goode Memorial Award "for fundamental contributions to the study of algorithms and their applications in information processing."In 2008 he received the Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award "for his vision of and impact on computer science, including co-authoring field-defining texts on theory and algorithms, which continue to influence students 40 years later, advising PhD students who themselves are now contributing greatly to computer science, and providing influential leadership in computer science research and education at the national and international level."

In 1992 John Hopcroft was nominated to National Scientific Board by George W. Bush.

In 2009, September 24 he received an honorary doctorate from Saint Petersburg State University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics.


  • J.E. Hopcroft, Rajeev Motwani, Jeffrey D. Ullman, Introduction to Automata Theory, Languages, and Computation Second Edition. Addison-Wesley (2001).
  • Alfred V. Aho, J.E. Hopcroft, Jeffrey D. Ullman, Data Structures and Algorithms, Addison-Wesley Series in Computer Science and Information Processing. (1983)
  • Alfred V. Aho, J.E. Hopcroft, Jeffrey D. Ullman, The Design and Analysis of Computer Algorithms, Addison-Wesley Series in Computer Science and Information Processing (1974).



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