Charles Katz

Born 1927, Philadelphia, Pa.; early developer of compilers from A-2, MATHMATIC, to GECOM.

Education: BS, mathematics, Temple University, 1950; MS, mathematics, University of Pennsylvania, 1953.

Professional Experience: mathematician, Univac Division, Remington-Rand, 1953-1959; manager, Systems Software, Computer Department, General Electric Co., 1959-1966; Burroughs Corporation Xerox Corporation.

Katz joined Grace Murray Hopper at Remington-Rand and immediately became involved in the development of the compiler for the A-2 programming language that operated on the Univac I. Continuing to work with Dr. Hopper, Katz then developed the compiler for MATHMATIC, a language with free-form algebraic and English-like statements, which was followed by FLOWMATIC. The latter was a business-oriented language which had a considerable influence on the development of the programming language Cobol. In 1957 Katz was appointed by John Carr III, president of ACM, to a committee to study the technical specifications of a universal programming language. The committee later accepted the invitation of the GAMM subcommittee for programming languages to create an international activity. Katz was one of four US members of the international committee, which included John Backus, Alan J. Perlis, and Joe Wegstein. The European committee members were F. L. Bauer, H. Bottenbruch, H. Rutishauser, and K. Samelson. Katz continued to develop compilers for GE, including support for Fortran, Cobol, WIZ (a dialect of Algol), and GECOM (a cross between Cobol and Algol). Later while with the Burroughs Corporation, Katz directed the work on the TWA Airline Reservation System, and several software systems for the US Post Office.



Stern, Nancy, From ENIAC to Univac: An Appraisal of the Eckert-Mauchly Computers, Digital Press, Bedford, Mass., 1981.

Significant Publications

Katz, Charles, "GECOM: The General Compiler," in Symbolic Languages in Data Processing, Gordon and Breach, New York, 1962, pp. 495-500.

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