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Eric S. Roberts is an American computer scientist noted for his contributions to computer science education through textbook authorship and his leadership in computing curriculum development.[2] He is a co-chair of the ACM Education Council, former co-chair of the ACM Education Board, and a former member of the SIGCSE Board. He led the Java task force in 1994. He was a Professor emeritus[1] at Stanford University. He currently teaches at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, where he is known for attending Humanities 110 lectures.

Eric Roberts
Eric S. Roberts

Alma materHarvard University
Known forcomputer science education
AwardsACM Fellow (2007)
SIGCSE Award for Lifetime Service to the Computer Science Education Community (2018)
Scientific career
FieldsComputer Science
InstitutionsStanford University
Wellesley College
Reed College[1]



Roberts received a A. B. in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University in 1973. He received a S. M. in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University in June 1974 and a Ph.D in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University in 1980.

Career and researchEdit

He then joined the Department of Computer Science at Wellesley College as an assistant professor in 1980. In 1984–1985 he was a visiting lecturer in Computer Science at Harvard University. In 1990 he was an associate professor at Stanford University and promoted to professor (teaching) of Computer Science in 1990. In 2018, he joined Reed College as a visiting professor of computer science.

While at Stanford he has also held several other positions such as associate chair and director of undergraduate studies from 1997 to 2002, and senior associate dean for student affairs from 2001 to 2003.

Roberts has written several introductory computer science textbooks, including

  • Thinking Recursively[3]
  • The Art and Science of C[4]
  • Programming Abstractions in C[5]
  • Thinking Recursively with Java[6]
  • The Art and Science of Java[7]


Roberts has several notable awards in computer science.

  • ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award in 2012.[9]
  • IEEE Computer Society’s 2012 Taylor L. Booth Education Award.[10]


  1. ^ a b "Eric Roberts [home page]". Stanford University (Computer Science Department). Archived from the original on June 11, 2017. Retrieved August 21, 2017. Charles Simonyi Professor of Computer Science, emeritus
  2. ^
  3. ^ Eric S. Roberts (1986). Thinking Recursively. Canada: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. ISBN 978-0-471-81652-2.
  4. ^ Eric S. Robertss (1994). The Art and Science of C. United States: Prentice Hall. ISBN 978-0201543223.
  5. ^ Eric S. Roberts (1998). Programming Abstractions in C. United States: Addison-Wesley. ISBN 978-0201545418.
  6. ^ Eric S. Roberts (2006). Thinking Recursively with Java. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. ISBN 978-0-471-70146-0.
  7. ^ Eric S. Roberts (2008). The Art and Science of Java. United States: Addison-Wesley. ISBN 978-0321486127.
  8. ^ Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (2017-10-28). "SIGCSE 2018 Award Winners". SIGCSE. Retrieved 2017-11-06.
  9. ^ Association of Computing Machinery (2013-04-09). "ACM HONORS COMPUTING INNOVATORS" (PDF). ACM. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2014-01-04.
  10. ^ Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (2012-04-30). "Eric Roberts Wins IEEE Computer Society's 2012 Taylor L. Booth Education Award". IEEE. Retrieved 2014-01-04.
  11. ^ Association of Computing Machinery (2007-12-03). "ACM NAMES 38 FELLOWS FOR COMPUTING AND IT INNOVATIONS IN INDUSTRY, EDUCATION, ENTERTAINMENT". ACM. Retrieved 2014-01-04.