Juris Hartmanis

Juris Hartmanis was born in Riga, Latvia, on July 5, 1928. He received a undergraduate degree in physics from the University of Marburg in 1949, an MA in mathematics from the University of Kansas City in 1951, and a Ph. D. in mathematics from the California Institute of Technology in 1955. From 1951 to 1955 he taught at Cal Tech. From 1955 to 1957 he was an instructor in the Mathematics department at Cornell. From 1957 to 1958, he was an assistant professor at Ohio State. In 1958, he became a research mathematician at General Electric Research Laboratories. Finally, in 1965, he joined the newly-formed computer science department at Cornell University, where he continues today as chair.

Together with R. E. Stearns, Hartmanis began the modern study of computational complexity with a fundamental 1965 paper, which formally defined time complexity on Turing machines and showed the existence of a hierarchy of time complexity classes.

In 1993, Hartmanis was the winner (with R. E. Stearns) of the ACM Turing award, computer science's highest award.


  1. J. Hartmanis and R. E. Stearns, On the computational complexity of algorithms, Trans. Amer. Math. Soc. 117 (1965), 285-306.
  2. R. E. Stearns, Juris Hartmanis: The beginnings of computational complexity, in Proc. 3rd Structures in Complexity Conference (1988), 128-134.

Back to Theory of Computing Hall of Fame Main Page
Back to CS 462 home page

September 10 1997