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Robert Sedgewick (computer scientist)

Robert Sedgewick (born December 20, 1946) is an American computer science professor at Princeton University and a former member of the board of directors of Adobe Systems.[1]

Robert Sedgewick
Born (1946-12-20) December 20, 1946 (age 72)
Alma materStanford University
AwardsACM Fellow (1997)
Scientific career
FieldsComputer science
InstitutionsPrinceton University
Brown University (1975–85)
ThesisQuicksort (1975)
Doctoral advisorDonald Knuth

Sedgewick completed his Ph.D. in 1975 under the supervision of Donald Knuth at Stanford. His thesis was about the quicksort algorithm.[2] In 1975–85, he served on the faculty of Brown University.

Sedgewick was the founding Chairman (1985) of the Department of Computer Science at Princeton University and is currently still a Professor of Computer Science at Princeton.[3] He was a visiting researcher at Xerox PARC, Institute for Defense Analyses and INRIA.[4]

He along with Leo J Guibas came up with the highly popular data structure Red–black tree in their paper A dichromatic framework for balanced trees[5] in 1978 by adapting the work of Rudolf Bayer. In 1997, Robert Sedgewick was inducted as a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery for his seminal work in the mathematical analysis of algorithms and pioneering research in algorithm animation.[6]

Robert Sedgewick is the author of a well-known book series Algorithms, published by Addison-Wesley. The first edition of the book was published in 1983 and contained code in Pascal. Subsequent editions used C, C++, Modula-3, and Java.

Together with Philippe Flajolet, he wrote several books and preprints which promoted analytic combinatorics, a discipline which relies on the use of generating functions and complex analysis in order to enumerate combinatorial structures, and to study their asymptotic properties. As explained by Knuth in The Art of Computer Programming, this is the key to perform average case analysis of algorithms.

He teaches four open online courses on the online learning platform Coursera, namely Algorithms Part I and Part II, Analysis of Algorithms and Analytic Combinatorics.[7][8][9][10]


  • Sedgewick, Robert (1980). Quicksort. Garland Publishing, Inc. ISBN 0-8240-4417-7.
  • Sedgewick, Robert (1983). Algorithms (1st ed.). Addison-Wesley. ISBN 0-201-06672-6.
  • Flajolet, Philippe; Sedgewick, Robert (1995). An Introduction to the Analysis of Algorithms. Addison-Wesley. ISBN 978-0-201-40009-0.
  • Sedgewick, Robert; Wayne, Kevin (2007). An Introduction to Programming in Java: An Interdisciplinary Approach. Addison-Wesley. ISBN 978-0-321-49805-2.
  • Flajolet, Philippe; Sedgewick, Robert (2009). Analytic Combinatorics. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-89806-5.
  • Sedgewick, Robert; Wayne, Kevin (2011). Algorithms (4th ed.). Addison-Wesley Professional. ISBN 978-0-321-57351-3.
  • Sedgewick, Robert; Wayne, Kevin (2015). An Introduction to Programming in Python: An Interdisciplinary Approach. Addison-Wesley. ISBN 978-0134076430.
  • Sedgewick, Robert; Wayne, Kevin (2016). Computer Science: An Interdisciplinary Approach. Addison-Wesley. ISBN 978-0134076423.


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