Noam Chomsky

Avram Noam Chomsky was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on December 7, 1928. He attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he received his BA in 1949 and Ph.D. in 1955. Since 1955 he has taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

To theoretical computer scientists, Chomsky is best known for his work on the Chomsky hierarchy, which organizes language classes according to the different types of grammars that generate them. In particular Chomsky was the first to specify the class of grammars which today are called context-free.

During the Vietnam War, Chomsky became interested in politics and the mechanisms by which governments maintain and distribute power. He has written many books on politics, language, philosophy, and the media. Among the best known are Manufacturing Consent (1988) and Necessary Illusions (1989).


  1. N. Chomsky, Three models for the description of language, IRE Trans. Info. Theory 2 (3) (1956), 113-124.

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September 10 1997