As i was reading this old PDF mentioning the top 10 algorithms of 20th century, was pleasantly surprised to see creation of fortran compiler listed as one of them!
The creation of Fortran may rank as the single most important event in the history of computer programming: Finally, scientists (and others) could tell the computer what they wanted it to do, without having to descend into the netherworld of machine code. Although modest by modern compiler standards—Fortran I consisted of a mere 23,500 assembly-language instructions—the early compiler was nonetheless capable of surprisingly sophisticated computations. As Backus himself recalls in a recent history of Fortran I, II, and III, published in 1998 in the IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, the compiler “produced code of such efficiency that its output would startle the programmers who studied it.”
Interestingly being in aeronautical/aerospace industry, I have encountered most of the algorithms listed there. Do read the PDF report and see how many of them you have encountered?