Alfred Vaino Aho was born on  August 9, 1941( age 79 years) in Timmins, Ontario.

He is a Canadian computer scientist best known for his work on programming languages, compilers, and related algorithms, and his textbooks on the art and science of computer programming.

Aho received a B.A.Sc. in Engineering Physics from the University of Toronto and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering/Computer Science from Princeton University. He served as chair of the department from 1995 to 1997, and again in the spring of 2003. As of 2011, he holds the Lawrence Gussman Chair of Computer Science at Columbia University.

In his Ph.D. thesis, Aho created indexed grammars and the nested-stack automaton as vehicles for extending the power of context-free languages but retaining many of their decidability and closure properties. Indexed grammars have been used to model parallel rewriting systems, particularly in biological applications.

After graduating from Princeton, Aho joined the Computing Sciences Research Center at Bell Labs where he devised efficient regular expression and string-pattern matching algorithms that he implemented in the first versions of the Unix tools egrep and fgrep.

The fgrep algorithm has become known as the Aho-Corasick algorithm; it is used by several bibliographic search-systems and by other string-searching applications.

At Bell Labs, Aho worked closely with Steve Johnson and Jeffrey Ullman to develop efficient algorithms for analyzing and translating programming languages.

Aho has twice served as chair of the Advisory Committee for the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate of the National Science Foundation. He is a past president of the ACM Special Interest Group on Algorithms and Computability Theory.


  • A. V. Aho and J. D. Ullman, Principles of Compiler Design. Addison-Wesley, 1977.
  • A. V. Aho, J. E. Hopcroft, J. D. Ullman, Data Structures and Algorithms. Addison-Wesley, 1983.
  • A. V. Aho, R. Sethi, J. D. Ullman, Compilers: Principles, Techniques, and Tools. Addison-Wesley, Reading MA 1986.
  • A. V. Aho, B. W. Kernighan, and P. J. Weinberger, The AWK Programming Language. Addison-Wesley, 1988.
  • A. V. Aho and J. D. Ullman, Foundations of Computer Science. W. H. Freeman/Computer Science Press, 1992.
    • A. V. Aho and J. D. Ullman, Foundations of Computer Science, C Edition. W. H. Freeman, 1995.
  • A. V. Aho, M. S. Lam, R. Sethi, and J. D. Ullman, Compilers: Principles, Techniques, and Tools, Second Edition. Addison-Wesley, 2007.


Aho’s private and personal life is one that is a great mystery and hence, his wife and children’s name are unknown. ( will update if there is a change)


Aho’s net worth as of 2021, is estimated at around $1-$10 million.


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