Alfred Aho

IRL Name: 
Alfred Vaino Aho

Alfred Vaino Aho is a co-creator of AWK (the A in the name stands for Aho), and main author of famous Dragon book. He has a B.A.Sc in Engineering Physics from the University of Toronto and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering/Computer Science from Princeton University. He conducted research at Bell Labs from 1967 to 1991, and again from 1997 to 2002 as Vice President of the Computing Sciences Research Center.

After graduating from Princeton, Aho joined the Computing Sciences Research Center at Bell Labs where he devised efficient regular expression and string-pattern matching algorithms which he implemented in the first versions of the Unix tools egrep and fgrep. The fgrep algorithm has become known as the Aho-Corasick algorithm; several bibliographic search-systems utilize it, including the one developed by Margaret J. Corasick, and other string-searching applications.


He won the Great Teacher Award for 2003 from the Society of Columbia Graduates.

He has received the IEEE John von Neumann Medal and is a Member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

In 1974, Aho, John Hopcroft, and Ullman wrote the Design and Analysis of Computer Algorithms, codifying some of their early research on algorithms.

He is a past president of the ACM Special Interest Group on Algorithms and Computability Theory.