Manuel Blum
  • 1995 Turing Award


Venezuelan-American computer scientist, pioneer in the field of theoretical computer science. He was awarded the 1995 Turing Award, for his contributions to the foundations of computational complexity theory and its applications to cryptography and program checking, a mathematical approach to writing programs that checks their work.

Education and Work Experience

1964, Ph.D. in Mathematics, MIT
1977-1980, Associate Chair for Computer Science, UC Berkeley
1974-Present, Group in Logic and Methodology of Science, U.C. Berkeley
2001-Present, Bruce Nelson Professor of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University (Present-Emeritus)

Honors and Awards

1982, IEEE Fellow
1983, Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science
1995, Turing Award
2002, Member of the United States of National Academy of Sciences

Major Academic Achievements

The problems he has tackled in his long career include, among others, methods for measuring the intrinsic complexity of problems. Blum’s Speedup Theorem is an important proposition about the complexity of computable functions. The Blum axioms give a machine-independent way to understand the complexity of computation, whether that computation is done by a human or a computer. In his work, Blum has shown that secure business transactions, pseudo-random number generation, program checking, and more recently, CAPTCHAs for detecting bot intruders, are possible in part because all computational devices are resource bounded. Blum’s current research includes designing a computer architecture for a conscious AI inspired by major advances in congnitive neuroscience.