For the non-computer scientist, Donald Knuth is the author of The Art of Computer Programming and the TeX typesetting language. He is a living legend among computer scientists. Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with cancer in 2006. Here's what he has to say about the connection between inventing (computer programs) and artistry:
My feeling is that when we prepare a program, the experience can be just like composing poetry or music.
I once met Mr. Knuth on the 59th Street (University of Chicago) platform for the Metra in Chicago. As usual, he was looking for an algorithm: "Can you tell me whether this will get me to O'Hare within 45 minutes?" I told him he had the wrong algorithm, and suggested he call for a cab immediately. How cool is that?
Here are a few other great quotes from Mr. Knuth
In fact what I would like to see is thousands of computer scientists let loose to do whatever they want. That's what really advances the field.
Let us change our traditional attitude to the construction of programs. Instead of imagining that our main task is to instruct a computer what to do, let us concentrate rather on explaining to human beings what we want a computer to do.