Les Valiant is the T. Jefferson Coolidge Professor of Computer Science and Applied mathematics at Harvard University. Prof. Leslie Valiant has consistently made outstanding and fundamental contributions to computer science throughout his career. He has made far-reaching technical contributions that have addressed the most basic computational notions such as time, space, and circuit complexity. He has also helped to shape the structure of computer science at a conceptual level, making numerous contributions to the theory of parallel computation and bringing about a renaissance in the computational theory of learning. Many of these strands in his work are brought together in his book, Circuits of the Mind, which is one of the few efforts to relate the cognitive functions of the brain to concrete computational models.
Among his major awards are the Nevanlinna Prize given at the International Congress of Mathematicians, and the Knuth Prize, given by SIGACT of the ACM, awarded for major research accomplishments and contributions to the foundations of computer science over an extended period of time.