Professor Stephen A. Cook

Department of Computer Science

Appointed a University Professor in 1985

Stephen A. Cook received his B.Sc. degree from University of Michigan in 1961 and his S.M. and Ph.D. degrees in Mathematics at Harvard University in 1962 and 1966. He joined the Computer Science Department of the University of Toronto in 1970 and was appointed University Professor in 1985.

Professor Cook's work is renowned for its originality, penetrating insight, and depth and his contributions are noted for their enduring significance to and impact on computer science. He is one of the world's leading researchers in the fields of computational complexity, programming language semantics, parallel computation, and the interaction between logic and complexity theory. His pioneering work has led to the development of the theory of NP-Complete problems, which is one of the most important achievements in the field. He is also a founder and major contributor to propositional proof complexity, a field which has provided a fruitful melding of complexity theory and mathematical logic.

Dr. Cook is the author of over 50 research papers, including his famous 1971 paper "The Complexity of Theorem Proving Procedures" which introduced his theory of NP completeness. In 1977-78 he was awarded the E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship and in 1982-83 a Killam Research Fellowship. In 1982 he won the A.M. Turing Award of the Association of Computing Machinery, the highest award that the field of computer science bestows on one of its members for research contributions. He is a fellow of both the Royal Society of Canada and the Royal Society of London, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States.

Not only is Dr. Cook an outstanding researcher, he is also a dedicated teacher. He received Computer Science teaching awards in 1989 and 1995. Twenty three students have completed their PhD degrees under his supervision, and many of them now have prominent academic careers of their own.

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