John E. Hopcroft

John E. Hopcroft

Computer Science
Gates Hall, Room 426
IBM Professor of Engineering and Applied Mathematics


John E. Hopcroft is the IBM Professor of Engineering and Applied Mathematics in Computer Science at Cornell University. He earned his B.S. (1961) from Seattle University, and his M.S. (1962) and Ph.D. (1964) in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. His research centers on theoretical aspects of computer science. He served as Chair of the Department of Computer Science from 1987 to 1992 and as Dean of Cornell University's College of Engineering from 1994 until 2001.

He is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences, of the National Academy of Engineering, Foreign Member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Association of Computing Machinery, and the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics. Premier Li Keqiang presented him with China’s Friendship Medal for his work on improving education in China.

In 1986 he was awarded the A. M. Turing Award for his research contributions. In 1992 he was appointed by President George H.W. Bush to the National Science Board, which oversees the National Science Foundation and he served through May 1998. Over his career he has focused on global education and reform and has worked in Chile, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, China and India to raise educational standards. In recent years he has become deeply involved in China as its goals in education align with his strategies for achieving excellence in teaching and development of talent.

He has honorary degrees from Seattle University, Beijing Institute of Technology, the National College of Ireland, the University of Sydney, St Petersburg State University, Russia, and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He is an honorary professor at the Beijing Institute of Technology, Yunnan University, Chongqing University, Huazhong University of Science and Technology and Shanghai Jiao Tong University. He is an Einstein Professor of the Chinese Academy of Science. He serves on Microsoft's Technical Advisory Board for Research Asia (MSRA) and on the advisory boards of IIIT Delhi and Seattle University's College of Engineering. For 25 years he served on the Packard Foundation's Science Advisory Board.

Research Interests

Selected Publications

  • Aho, A. V., John E. Hopcroft, J. D. Ullman. 1974.The Design and Analysis of Computer Algorithms.Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Reading, Massachusetts.
  • Hopcroft, John E. 2001.Introduction to Automata Theory, Language, and Computation.Addison-Wesley, Reading, Massachusetts, 1979 (with J. D. Ullman). Second Edition (with J. D. Ullman and Rajeev Motwani).
  • Hopcroft, John E., R. Tarjan. 1974."Efficient Planarity Testing."JACM21(4): 549-568.
  • Hopcroft, John E., Richard M. Karp. 1973."A n5/2 algorithm for maximum matchings in bipartite graphs."SIAM Journal on Computing, 2(4): 225-231.
  • Callaway, D. S., John E. Hopcroft, Jon M. Kleinberg, M. E. Newman, Steve Strogatz. 2001."Are randomly grown graphs really random?"Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys64(4 Pt 1): 041902.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Turing Award 1986
  • Computing Research Association (CRA) Distinguished Service Award 2007
  • IEEE von Neumann Medal 2010
  • Designated by Merrill Presidential Scholars Aaron Sidford (2008) and Christie Brandt (2010) as the faculty member who made the most important contribution to their education at Cornell 2010
  • Honorary professorship(Huazhong University of Science and Technology)2013




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