Research Areas


Manuel Blum is a pioneer in the field of theoretical computer science and the winner of the 1995 Turing

Award in recognition of his contributions to the foundations of computational complexity theory and its

applications to cryptography and program checking, a mathematical approach to writing programs that

check their work.

He was born in Caracas, Venezuela, where his parents settled after fleeing Europe in the 1930s, and

came to the United States in the mid-1950s to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. While

studying electrical engineering, he pursued his desire to understand thinking and brains by working in the

neurophysiology laboratory of Dr. Warren S. McCulloch and Walter Pitts, then concentrated on

mathematical logic and recursion theory for the insight it gave him on brains and thinking. He did his

doctoral work under the supervision of Artificial Intelligence pioneer Marvin Minsky, and earned a

Ph.D. from MIT in mathematics in 1964.

Blum began his teaching career at MIT as an assistant professor of mathematics and, in 1968, joined the

faculty of the University of California at Berkeley. He became the Bruce Nelson University Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon in 2001. Blum has supervised the theses of 35 doctoral students who now pepper almost every major computer science department in the country. The many ground-breaking areas of theoretical computer science chartered by his academic descendants are legend.


  • 1964, Ph.D., Mathematics, MIT
  • 1961, M.S., Electrical Engineering, MIT
  • 1959, B.S., Electrical Engineering, MIT

Selected Publications

Awards, Memberships and Fellowships