Harry Lewis, Gordon McKay Research Professor of Computer Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University, is the author of numerous books and articles on computer science and on higher education. He holds degrees of AB (summa cum laude) and PhD in Applied Mathematics from Harvard, and he served for two years in the Commissioned Corps of the US Public Health Service.
A member of the Harvard faculty since 1974, he has helped launch thousands of Harvard undergraduates, including both Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, into careers in computer science. His book about higher education, Excellence Without a Soul: Does Liberal Education Have a Future? was translated into Chinese and Korean. He is coauthor, with Hal Abelson, Ken Ledeen, and Wendy Seltzer of “Blown to Bits,” now in its second edition. The book explains the origins and public consequences of the explosion of digital information. His edited collection of classic computer science papers, Ideas that Created the Future, and his edition, with Lloyd Strickland, of Leibniz’s works on binary arithmetic have been published by MIT Press.
Lewis served as Dean of Harvard College, overseeing residential life, career services, public service, academic and personal advising, athletic policy, and intercultural and race relations. He has also served as interim Dean of Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Now retired after 46 years of service to Harvard, he remains in the Boston area and will be teaching “Classic Papers of Computer Science” to all interested parties at Harvard in the spring of 2023. Lewis serves on the Board of Directors of epic.org, the Electronic Privacy Information Center.