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OBITUARIES -- Peter Bernard Sheridan Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129774D
Original Publication Date: 1993-Apr-30
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-07
Document File: 2 page(s) / 16K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

IEEE Computer Society: OWNER


OBITUARIES -- Peter Bernard Sheridan

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Copyright ©; 1992 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

OBITUARIES -- Peter Bernard Sheridan

Peter Bernard Sheridan, mathematical logician, IBM research worker, and member of the original Fortran development team, died after a brief illness on August 25, 1992, in Greenwich, Conn., of pancreatic cancer. He was 66 years old.

Sheridan was born in New York City in 1926. During World War II he participated in a US Navy electronics training program for gifted high school students. After graduating from the City College of New York and earning a master's degree in mathematical logic at Fordham University, he joined IBM's research organization to work on a Russian-English translation program using the IBM 701.

In early 1955 he became part of John Backus' Programming Research Group, then located on the fifth floor of 15 East 56th Street in New York City. The group was to create the Fortran compiler, then called a translator, that IBM in the previous year had promised its customers for the upcoming IBM 704. The 11-person group,*1 then considered an enormous army of programmers but tiny by today's standards, was divided into small teams, each with a specific responsibility. Sheridan, with Harlan Herrick and Roy Nutt, was to create Section I of the compiler, which was to read in the entire source program, compile what instructions it could, and file all the remaining information from the source program in appropriate tables. Sheridan's job was to invent the code the programs needed to compile all the arithmetic expressions. His optimizing transformations of expressions were remarkable at the time because of the way they radically altered the expressions without changing their meaning.1-3

(Image Omitted: Peter Bernard Sheridan Born 1926 in New York City, Died August 25, 1992. A mathematical logician with a special interest in automatic coding and natural language tanslations by computer, he was the member of Fortran I development team responsible for arithemetic expression compiling. Education: BS, City College of New York; MS, Fordham University. Professional career: 40 years as are search scientist with IBM; member of the original Fortran I team; service in New York City, France, Switzerland, and Yorktown Heights.)

The completed work of the Backus group was first documented in 1956 in The Programmer's Reference Manual,4 whi...