He was a lead designer of the computers that cemented IBM’s dominance for decades. He later wrote a book on software engineering that became a quirky classic.

Frederick P. Brooks Jr., whose innovative work in computer design and software engineering helped shape the field of computer science, died on Thursday at his home in Chapel Hill, N.C. He was 91.

His death was confirmed by his son, Roger, who said Dr. Brooks had been in declining health since having a stroke two years ago.

Dr. Brooks had a wide-ranging career that included creating the computer science department at the University of North Carolina and leading influential research in computer graphics and virtual reality.

But he is best known for being one of the technical leaders of IBM’s 360 computer project in the 1960s. At a time when smaller rivals like Burroughs, Univac and NCR were making inroads, it was a hugely ambitious undertaking. Fortune

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