Awards & Winners

John Cocke

Date of Birth 30-May-1925
Place of Birth Charlotte
(North Carolina, Mecklenburg County, Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, NC-SC Metropolitan Statistical Area, United States of America, Area code 704, Area code 980)
Nationality United States of America
Profession Mathematician, Engineer, Computer Scientist
John Cocke was an American computer scientist recognized for his large contribution to computer architecture and optimizing compiler design. He is considered by many to be "the father of RISC architecture." He attended Duke University, where he received his Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1946 and his Ph.D. in Mathematics in 1953. Cocke spent his entire career as an industrial researcher for IBM, from 1956 to 1992. Perhaps the project where his innovations were most noted was in the IBM 801 minicomputer, where his realization that matching the design of the architecture's instruction set to the relatively simple instructions actually emitted by compilers could allow high performance at a low cost. He is one of the inventors of the CYK algorithm. He was also involved in the pioneering speech recognition and machine translation work at IBM in the 1970s and 1980s, and is credited by Frederick Jelinek with originating the idea of using a trigram language model for speech recognition. Cocke was appointed IBM Fellow in 1972. He won the Eckert-Mauchly Award in 1985, ACM Turing Award in 1987, the National Medal of Technology in 1991 and the National Medal of Science in 1994, The Franklin Institute's Certificate of Merit in 1996, the Seymour Cray Computer Science and Engineering Award in 1999, and the The Benjamin Franklin Medal in 2000.

Awards by John Cocke

Check all the awards nominated and won by John Cocke.


National Medal of Science for Mathematics and Computer Science
(For his contributions to computer science in the design and theory of compilers, and for major advances in the theory and practice of high-performance computer systems.)


National Medal of Technology and Innovation
(For his development and implementation of Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC) architecture that significantly increased the speed and efficiency of computers, thereby enhancing U.S. technological competitiveness.)


Turing Award
(For significant contributions in the design and theory of compilers, the architecture of large systems and the development of reduced instruction set computers (RISC))