Royal Society Publishing

Sir Maurice Vincent Wilkes. 26 June 1913 — 29 November 2010

Martin Campbell-Kelly


Maurice Wilkes was head of the Mathematical Laboratory (later Computer Laboratory) at Cambridge University from 1945 until his retirement in 1980. He led the construction of the EDSAC (Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator), the world’s first practical stored-program computer, completed in May 1949. In 1951 he invented microprogramming, a fundamental technique of computer design. He subsequently led the construction of the EDSAC 2 and the Titan computers; he then established the CAP computer project, the Cambridge Digital Ring, and the Cambridge Distributed Computer System. Beyond Cambridge University, he was founding president of the British Computer Society. He was knighted in 2000 for services to computing.