David John Wheeler, computer scientist: born Birmingham 27 February 1927; Research Fellow, Trinity College, Cambridge 1951-57; Assistant Director of Research, Mathematical Laboratory, Cambridge University 1956-66, Reader in Computer Science 1966-78, Professor of Computer Science 1978-94 (Emeritus); Fellow, Darwin College, Cambridge 1967-94 (Emeritus); FRS 1981; married 1957 Joyce Blackler (one son, two daughters); died Cambridge 13 December 2004.The Independent
In 1978 Wheeler was appointed Professor of Computer Science, and in 1981 was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. Beyond the laboratory (now renamed the Computer Laboratory), he was a consultant for Bell Labs and the Digital Equipment Corporation in the United States. At the latter he worked with Mike Burrows to devise the Burrows-Wheeler Compression Algorithm, a now-standard technique for reducing the size of computer files.
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