Hal Abelson

In the world of computing, Hal Abelson is a legend: a much-honored educator and an activist for internet freedom. A professor in the electrical engineering and computer science department at MIT, Abelson is a co-author, with Gerald Sussman, of the classic course and textbook Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, which advances an analytical approach to programming language that has influenced computer science education worldwide. On a philosophical and political plane, Abelson has been a founder and director of such public interest groups as Creative Commons, the Center for Democracy & Technology, and the Free Software Foundation—organizations that work variously to promote progressive ideals such as the open dissemination of information on the internet, the personal privacy of Web users, and freedom of expression.

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