Robert W. Floyd joined the Stanford faculty in 1968 as an associate professor of computer science. He was appointed full professor in 1970 and from 1973 to 1975 he was chair of the department. He retired from Stanford in 1994. A child prodigy, Floyd graduated from high school at age 14 and earned his first bachelor's degree at the age of 17 and his second in physics in 1958, both at the University of Chicago. A self-taught computer operator and programmer, he became a Senior Project Scientist at Computer Associates in Massachusetts in 1962. He taught at the Carnegie Institute of Technology prior to his appointment at Stanford. His most important scientific achievement was pioneering systematic methods of program verification. His research included design and analysis of algorithms for finding the shortest paths in a network, parsing (decomposing) programming languages, calculating quantiles, printing shades of gray on a dot printer, sorting information and selecting random permutations and combinations. In 1978, Floyd won the Association for Computing Machinery Turing Award, the highest honor in computer science. In 1991, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Computer Society awarded Floyd its Computer Pioneer Award for his work on early compilers. Floyd was a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Association for Computing Machinery. He died in September 2001.
From the guide to the Robert W. Floyd papers, 1960-1995, (Department of Special Collections and University Archives)