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Jack Minker Edit Profile

educator , Computer scientist

Jack Minker, American computer scientist, educator. Recipient University Maryland Presidential medal, 1996, Allen Newell award Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)/American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2005; named Distinguished Scholar-Teacher University Maryland, 1997-1998, fellow Academy Excellence in Teaching and Learning, since 2002.


Minker, Jack was born on July 4, 1927 in Brooklyn. Son of Harry and Rose (Lapuck) Minker.


Bachelor of Arts cum laude with honors in Mathematics, Brooklyn College, 1949;Master of Science in Mathematics, University of Wisconsin, 1950;Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics, University of Pennsylvania, 1959.


He is also an internationally recognized leader in the field of human rights of computer scientists. He is an Emeritus Professor in the University of Maryland Department of Computer Science. He started his career in industry in 1951, working at the Bell Aircraft Corporation, RCA, and the Auerbach Corporation.

He joined the University of Maryland in 1967, becoming Professor of Computer Science in 1971 and the first chair of the department in 1974. He became Professor Emeritus in 1998. Minker is one of the founders of the area of deductive databases and disjunctive logic programming.

He has made important contributions to semantic query optimization and to cooperative and informative answers for deductive databases. He has also developed a theoretical basis for disjunctive databases and disjunctive logic programs, developing the Generalized Closed World Assumption (GCWA). Minker has over 150 refereed publications and has edited or co-edited five books on deductive databases, logic programming, and the use of logic in artificial intelligence.

He is Founding Editor-in-Chief of the journal Theory and Practice of Logic Programming. Minker has been Vice-Chairman of the Committee of Concerned Scientists since 1973, and Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Scientific Freedom and Human Rights (CSFHR) of the Association for Computing Machinery from 1980 to 1989. He led the struggle for the release of Anatoly Shcharansky and Alexander Lerner from the late Soviet Union.

His memoir, Scientific Freedom & Human Rights: Scientists of Conscience During the Cold War, was published in 2012 by IEEE Computer Society Press.


  • Minker was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 1989, founding Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) in 1990, Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in 1991, and founding Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) in 1994. He received the ACM Outstanding Contribution Award for his work on human rights in 1985, the ACM Recognition of Service Award in 1989, the University of Maryland President's Medal for 1996, and the prestigious ACM Allen Newell Award for 2005. The Allen Newell Award is a recognition by the Association for Computing Machinery to individuals that have contributed to the breadth of knowledge within computer science and the bridging between computer science and other disciplines. He also received the 2011 Heinz R. Pagels Human Rights Award from the New York Academy of Sciences for his work on behalf of scientific freedom and human rights for scientists.



Vice chairman Committee Concerned Scientists, since 1972. With United States Army, 1945-1946. Fellow American Association for the Advancement of Science, Association for Computing Machinery (Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (editorial board Expert Information Sys. journal), American Association Artificial Intelligence (founding).

Member Association Computing Machinery (chairman national program committee 1968-1969, vice Chairman of Commission on science freedom andhuman rights 1979-1989, Outstanding Contribution award 1985).


Married Rita Goldberg, June 24, 1951 (deceased October 11, 1988). Children: Michael Saul, Sally Anne. Married Johanna Cartee Weinstein, January 19, 1997.

Harry Minker

Rose (Lapuck) Minker

Rita Goldberg

Johanna Cartee Weinstein

Michael Saul Minker

Sally Anne Minker