[Scottish] The Free Software Movement and the GNU/Linux Operating System, talk by Richard Stallman

Simon Yuill simon at lipparosa.org
Sun May 9 10:55:26 BST 2004

Informatics Colloquium

The Free Software Movement and the GNU/Linux Operating System

3pm, Thursday 27 May 2004
George Square Lecture Theatre

Richard Stallman will speak about the goals and philosophy of the Free
Software Movement, and the status and history the GNU operating system,
which in combination with the kernel Linux is now used by tens of
millions of users world-wide.

About Richard Stallman

Richard Stallman is the founder of the GNU Project, launched in 1984 to
develop the free software operating system GNU. The name 'GNU' is a
recursive acronym for 'GNU's Not Unix'.

Stallman graduated from Harvard in 1974 with a BA in physics. During his
college years, he also worked as a staff hacker at the MIT Artificial
Intelligence Lab, learning operating system development by doing it. He
wrote the first extensible Emacs text editor there in 1975. He also
developed the AI technique of dependency-directed backtracking, also
known as truth maintenance. In January 1984 he resigned from MIT to
start the GNU project.

He is the principal author of the GNU Compiler Collection, a portable
optimizing compiler which was designed to support diverse architectures
and multiple languages. The compiler now supports over 30 different
architectures and 7 programming languages. Stallman also wrote the GNU
symbolic debugger (gdb), GNU Emacs, and various other programs for the
GNU operating system.

Stallman received the Grace Hopper award for 1991 from the Association
for Computing Machinery, for his development of the first Emacs editor.
In 1990 he was awarded a Macarthur foundation fellowship, and in 1996 an
honorary doctorate from the royal institute of Technology in Sweden. In
1998 he received the Electronic Frontier Foundation's pioneer award
along with Linus Torvalds. In 1999 he received the Yuri Rubinski award.
In 2001 he received a second honorary doctorate, from the University of
Glasgow, and shared the Takeda award for social/economic betterment with
Torvalds and Ken Sakamura. In 2002 he was elected to the US National
Academy of Engineering, and in 2003 to the American Academy of Arts and
Sciences. In 2003 he was named an honorary professor of the Universided
Nacional de Ingenieria in Peru, and received an honorary doctorate from
the Free University of Brussels.

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