Harry Roy Lewis
Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science
Harvard College Professor
Maxwell Dworkin 237
School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Cambridge, MA 02138
Six Hawes Street
Brookline, MA 02446
July 2010 to present
July 2003 to June 2008
Director of Undergraduate Studies in Computer Science. Harvard University
Harvard College Professor in recognition of outstanding teaching.
July, 1995 to July, 2003
Dean of Harvard College. Oversight of undergraduate affairs, including residential life, extracurricular activities, the residential system, progress of individual students towards their degrees, and the formulation and administration of College policies and rules.
July, 1981 to present
Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science, in the Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University.
July, 1978 to June, 1981
Associate Professor of Computer Science, Harvard University.
July, 1974 to June, 1978
Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Harvard University.
July, 1971 to June, 1974
AM (1973) and PhD (1974) in Applied Mathematics, Harvard University. PhD Thesis: Herbrand Expansions and Reductions of the Decision Problem. Supervisor: Burton Dreben
July, 1970 to June, 1971
Frederick Sheldon Traveling Fellow of Harvard University. Travel and research in Europe.
July, 1968 to June, 1970
Junior Assistant HealthServices Officer, Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. Mathematician and Computer Scientist, responsible for operating system maintenance and image processing applications.
September, 1964 to June, 1968
AB in Applied Mathematics, Harvard College, summa cum laude
September, 1959 to June, 1964
The Roxbury Latin School, West Roxbury, Massachusetts. Diploma summa cum laude awarded June, 1965.
Harry Lewis entered Harvard College in the fall of 1964. Having made no great progress despite his efforts in mathematics, physics, drama, and lacrosse, he stumbled upon computer programming through a part-time job, and fell in love with the emerging field. Lewis’s undergraduate thesis, written under the direction of computer graphics pioneer Ivan Sutherland, was on handwriting recognition, parsing handwritten mathematical notation, and their use in experimental mathematics. Lewis graduated from Harvard in 1968, summa cum laude in Applied Mathematics.
During the Vietnam War, Harry Lewis served for two years as a commissioned officer of the US Public Health Service. He served at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, doing work on image processing and on systems and application programming. He spent the academic year 1970-71 in Europe as Frederick Sheldon Traveling Fellow of Harvard University. Lewis returned to Harvard to begin his graduate study in the fall of 1971 and was awarded the PhD in Applied Mathematics in 1974. His PhD thesis was written under the direction of philosophy professor Burton Dreben, on the subject of computational unsolvability in mathematical logic.
Upon receiving his PhD, Lewis joined the Harvard faculty. He became Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science in 1981. In 2003 he was honored with the title of Harvard College Professor in honor of his teaching excellence. He is a Faculty Associate of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard.
Lewis is the author of five books and numerous articles on various aspects of computer science. In the years since he began teaching in 1974, he has helped launch thousands of Harvard undergraduates into careers in computer science. His book about higher education, Excellence Without a Soul: Does Liberal Education Have a Future? has appeared in a paperback edition (PublicAffairs, 2007). The hardcover edition was a Boston Globe best-seller and the subject of favorable reviews in both the Boston Globe and the Wall Street Journal. It has been translated into Chinese (in both Taiwanese and mainland editions) and Korean. A book, coauthored with Hal Abelson and Ken Ledeen, on the origins and public consequences of the explosion of digital information was published in June, 2008 (Blown to Bits: Your Life, Liberty, and Happiness After the Digital Explosion, Addison-Wesley).
From 1995-2003 Lewis served as Dean of Harvard College. In this capacity he oversaw the undergraduate experience, including residential life, career services, public service, academic and personal advising, athletic policy, and intercultural and race relations. He is a long time member of the College’s Admissions Committee.
- Unsolvable Classes of Quantificational Formulas;
Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Reading, Massachusetts, 1979
- Harry R. Lewis and Christos H. Papadimitriou; Elements of the Theory of
Computation; Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1981
- An Introduction to Computer Programming and Data Structures
using MACRO-11; Reston Publishing Company, Reston, Virginia, 1981
- Harry R. Lewis and Larry Denenberg; Data Structures and their Algorithms;
Harper Collins Publishers, Inc., New York, 1991
- Harry R. Lewis and Christos H. Papadimitriou; STOCHEIA THEORIAS HYPOLOGISMOU ; Technical Chapter of Greece --- TEE, Athens, Greece, 1992. (Greek language edition of #2)
- Harry R. Lewis and Christos H. Papadimitriou; Elements of the Theory of
Computation, Second Edition; Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1997
- Harry R. Lewis and Christos H. Papadimitriou; Elementos de Teoria da
Computação, 2a Edição; Bookman, Porto Alegre, 2000 (Portuguese language edition of #6)
- Harry R. Lewis, Excellence Without a Soul: How a Great University Forgot Education, PublicAffairs, 2006.
- Paperback edition of #8, subtitled Does Liberal Education Have a Future?, 2007.
- Chinese (both mainland and Taiwan) and Korean editions of #8.
- Hal Abelson, Ken Ledeen, Harry Lewis, Blown to Bits: Your Life, Liberty, and Happiness After the Digital Explosion, Addison-Wesley, 2008.
- Ataka Bitov (Russian translation of #11).
- Chinese translation of #11, in progress.
PUBLICATIONS: WRITINGS ON TECHNOLOGY
- Two applications of hand-printed two-dimensional computer input; A.B. Thesis, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1968
- SHAPESHIFTER: An interactive program for experimenting with com\-plex-plane transformations; Proceedings of the 23rd National Conference of the Association for Computing Machinery, 1968; pp. 717--724
- An interactive graphics facility under the PDP-10/50 timesharing monitor; Proceedings of the DECUS Fall 1969 Conference; pp. 59--62
- Techniques for generating, manipulating, and storage management of type 340 display files; Proceedings of the DECUS Fall 1969 Conference; pp. 67--74
- (with Malcolm C. Bruce) A device to make a Rand tablet act like a
light pen; Proceedings of the DECUS Spring 1970 Conference; pp. 249--251
- (with Warren D. Goldfarb) The decision problem for formulas with a small number of atomic subformulas; Journal of Symbolic Logic, 38 (1973); pp.471--480
- Stal O. Aanderaa and Harry R. Lewis, Prefix classes of Krom formulas; Journal of Symbolic Logic, 38 (1973); pp. 628--642
- Herbrand Expansions and Reductions of the Decision Problem; Ph.D. Thesis, Division of Engineering and Applied Physics, Harvard University, 1974
- Stal O. Aanderaa and Harry R. Lewis, Linear sampling and the AEA case of the decision problem; Journal of Symbolic Logic, 39 (1974); pp. 519--548
- Program schemata and the first-order decision problem; Journal of Computer and Systems Sciences, 8 (1974); pp. 71--83
- Description of restricted automata by first-order formulae; Mathematical Systems Theory, 9 (1975); pp. 97--104
- Warren D. Goldfarb and Harry R. Lewis, Skolem reduction classes; Journal of
Symbolic Logic, 40 (1975); pp. 62--68
- Krom formulas with one dyadic predicate letter; Journal of Symbolic Logic, 41 (1976); pp. 341--362
- Renaming a set of clauses as a Horn set; Journal of the Association for Computing Machinery, 10 (1978); pp. 134--135
- The equivalence problem for program schemata with nonintersecting loops; Proceedings of the Fourth Association for Computing Machinery Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages, 1977; pp. 253--266
- Harry R. Lewis and John H. Reif, Symbolic evaluation and the global value graph; Proceedings of the Fourth Association for Computing Machinery Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages, 1977; pp. 102--118
- Complexity measures for combinatorial decision problems of the tiling variety; Proceedings of the Conference on Theoretical Computer Science held at Waterloo, Ontario, August, 1977; pp. 62--73
- A new decidable problem, with applications; Proceedings of the 18th Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science, 1977; pp.~62--73
- Harry R. Lewis and Christos H. Papadimitriou, Efficient computability; Scientific American, 238 (1978); pp. 253--266
- Henry H. Leitner and Harry R. Lewis, Why Johnny can't program; Proceedings of
the SIGCSE/CSA Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, SIGCSE
Bulletin, 10, 1 (1978); pp. 266--276
- William R. Franklin and Harry R. Lewis, 3-D display of discrete spatial data by prism maps; Computer Graphics, 12 (1978); pp. 70--75
- Complexity of solvable cases of the decision problem for the predicate calculus; Proceedings of the Nineteenth IEEE Symposium on the Foundations of Computer Science, 1978; pp. 35--47
- Review of Mariages Stables by Donald E. Knuth; SIGACT NEWS; Winter 1978
- Satisfiability problems for propositional calculi; Mathematical Systems Theory, 13 (1979); pp. 45--54
- Complexity results for classes of quantificational formulas; Journal of Computer and Systems Sciences, 21 (1980); pp. 317--353
- Stal O. Aanderaa, Egon Borger, and Harry R. Lewis, Conservative reduction classes of Krom formulas; Journal of Symbolic Logic, 19 (1982); pp. 110-130
- Harry R. Lewis and Christos H. Papadimitriou, Symmetric space-bounded computation, extended abstract; Proceedings of the 7th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming; Springer-Verlag Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 85, pp. 374--384
- Harry R. Lewis and Christos H. Papadimitriou, Symmetric space-bounded computation; Theoretical Computer Science 19 (1982); pp. 161--187
- Ashok K. Chandra, Harry R. Lewis, and Johann Makowsky, Embedded implicational
dependencies and their inference problem; Proceedings of 13th ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing, 1981; pp. 342--354
- Larry Denenberg and Harry R. Lewis, A hard problem for NTIME(n^k); Proceedings of the 1981 Allerton Conference; August, 1981
- Yuri Gurevich and Harry R. Lewisl, The inference problem for template dependencies, preliminary version; Proceedings of ACM SIGACT-SIGMOD Symposium on Principles of Database Systems; Los Angeles, 1982
- Yuri Gurevich and Harry R. Lewis, The inference problem for template dependencies; Information and Control 55 (1982); pp. 69--79
- Yuri Gurevich and Harry R. Lewis, The word problem for cancellation semigroups with zero; Journal of Symbolic Logic 49 (1984); pp. 184-191
- Harry R. Lewis and Richard Statman, Unifiability is complete for co-NLog space; Information Processing Letters 15 (1982); pp. 220-222
- Larry Denenberg and Harry R. Lewis, The complexity of the satisfiability problem for Krom formulas; Theoretical Computer Science 30 (1984); pp. 319-341
- Review of Garey and Johnson; Computers and Intractability: A Guide to the Theory of NP-Completeness, Journal of Symbolic Logic 48 (1983); pp. 498--500
- Larry Denenberg and Harry R. Lewis, Logical syntax and computational complexity; Computation and Proof Theory: Proceedings, Logic Colloquium Aachen 1983, Part II; Springer-Verlag Lecture Notes in Mathematics 1104 (1983), pp. 101-115
- Yuri Gurevich and Harry R. Lewis, A logic for constant-depth circuits; Information and Control 61 (1984); pp.65--74
- Harry R. Lewis and John H. Reif, Efficient symbolic analysis of programs; Journal of Computer and Systems Sciences 32 (1986); pp. 280-314
- Finite-state analysis of asynchronous circuits with bounded temporal uncertainty, TR-15-89; Harvard University, Center for Research in Computing Technology; 1989
- A logic of concrete time intervals; IEEE Conference on Logic in Computer Science (1990); p. 380
- Computing's Cranky Pioneer (review of I. Bernard Cohen's biography Howard Aiken and its companion volume Makin’ Numbers); Harvard Magazine; May--June 1999
- Talented Eccentrics (review of Scott Rosenberg's book, Dreaming in Code), Harvard Magazine, March-April 2007.
- How Facebook Spells the End of Privacy (Boston Globe, June 14, 2008)
Inaccuracies In an Instant, Boston Herald, September 20, 2008
- The Dangers of Internet Censorship, Boston Globe, November 5, 2008.
- Not Your Father's Censorship, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 16, 2009.
- The Internet and Hieronymus Bosch: Fear, Protection, and Liberty in Cyberspace, to appear in Harvard Sampler, forthcoming from Harvard University Press.
WRITINGS ON HIGHER EDUCATION
- Report on the Structure of Harvard College (pdf); Committee Report; August, 1994.
- Mission Statement, Harvard College; February 23, 1997
- Romance and Love at Harvard, Harvard Crimson; February 12, 1.
- Slow Down [advice to incoming freshmen, 2004 version] (7 pages); July 13, 2001
- Harvard in America, a Year Later; Harvard Crimson; September 11, 2002
- Harvard in a Beer-Ad World; Harvard Crimson; November 4, 2002
- In Memory of Archie Epps; Harvard Crimson; September 12, 2003
- Has Harvard lost its way? The Chronicle of Higher Education; The Chronicle Review, March 24, 2006.
- Amateurism on and off the field, Harvard Crimson, April 21, 2006.
- A Core Curriculum for Tomorrow's Citizens (Chronicle of Higher Education, September 7, 2007)
- Copyright Harvard 2008 (Harvard Crimson, June 4, 2008)
- The Winning Spirit, The Times (London), October 8, 2009.
- Academe and the Decline of News Media, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 15, 2009.
- Shrouded in Secrecy, Decision Makers Gambled and Harvard Lost, Boston Globe, December 12, 2009.
- Educating Citizens in the Information Age, to appear in To Secure the Blessings of Liberty, David Feith, ed., forthcoming from Rowman & Littlefield.
- Renewing the Civic Mission of Higher Education, with Ellen Condliffe Lagemann, in preparation.
- EXPERIENCE WITH GENERAL EDUCATION
- In 1975, my second year on the Harvard faculty, I taught my first General Education course at Harvard, on the elements of computer science for non-specialist undergradautes. In the subsequent three years I grew that course to nearly five hundred students per year. It has always been my passion to make contemporary research and scholarship accessible and relevant to students of widely varying background and interests. My present general education course, Bits, melds computer and communications science with law and public policy, and is part of Harvard’s program of general education courses in Empirical and Mathematical Reasoning.
- While I was Dean of Harvard College, I was a member of Harvard’s Committee on General Education and was involved in the recruitment, selection, and evaluation of general education courses. I also chaired the College’s subcommittee on Quantitative Reasoning.
- More generally, I have argued in several of my writings that the development of the research university, with its increasingly specialized research faculty, has been a boon for economic progress but problematic for the education of citizens and civic leaders. I argue in several of my writings for a restoration of universities’ sense of social and civic mission.
I blog about developments in the world of digital information and society at bitsbook.com, a site associated with my book Blown to Bits.
SELECTED ADMINISTRATIVE COMMITTEES AT HARVARD, past and present
- Chair, Administrative Board of Harvard College (the body that grants exceptions to college rules and
responds to infractions of those rules)
- Chair, Faculty Standing Committee on Athletic Sports
- Chair, Faculty Standing Committee on Advising and Counseling
- Chair, Committee on House Life
- Chair, Committee on College Life
- Faculty Standing Committee on Information Technology
- Faculty Standing Committee on Admissions and Financial Aid in Harvard College
- Faculty Standing Committee on Public Service
- Academic Deans of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (the group that reviews all senior appointments to the Faculty)
- Faculty Council of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (the steering committee for business of the Faculty)
- Committee on Undergraduate Education
- Educational Policy Committee
- Standing Committee on the Core Curriculum
- Harvard's Faculty Athletics Representative to the NCAA
- Harvard's Representative on the Ivy League Policy Committee
- Institutional representative to the Consortium on Financing Higher Education
- Chair, Commission of Inquiry, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
- Acting Chair, Core Curriculum Subcommittee on Quantitative Reasoning
- Co-Chair, Committee on the Structure of Harvard College (an Ad Hoc review committee during 1993--1994)}
- Committee on Graduate Education
- University Committee on Information Technology and Subcommittee on Intellectual Property (1996--1997)
- Committee to review Harvard's relation to the American Repertory Theatre (1996--1997)
- Board of Tutors in Applied Mathematics and in Computer Science (the governing boards of these undergraduate concentrations)
- Numerous search committees, including those for the Director of Admissions (1983), the Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid (1985), the Dean of Freshmen (1992), the Head Coach of Football (1994), the Director of Computer Services (1993), and the Director of Dining Services (1996)
I started teaching at Harvard in the fall of 1974, a decade before the university offered an undergraduate degree in Computer Science. I have therefore had the privilege of creating a number of the undergraduate courses in the field, and of teaching introductory computer science and theoretical computer science (especially foundations of computer science and algorithms) to thousands of students in aggregate.
About five years ago I started teaching a general education course on social and legal issues precipitated by the digital revolution.
I also teach a freshman seminar on Amateur Athletics, a study of the social history of sports in America and how it relates to fundamental American notions of fairness and equality and the dynamic of body, mind, and spirit.
Here are a few outside boards of which I am or have been a member.
- Computing Research Board, 1985-1988
- Trustee of the Roxbury Latin School, 1979-present; President of the Trustees, 1992--present
- Trustee of the Charity of Edward Hopkins, 1995-2003
- Steering Committee, Harvard Advocates for ROTC