Richard Edwin Stearns (born July 5, 1936) is a prominent computer scientist who, with Juris Hartmanis, received the 1993 ACM Turing Award "in recognition of their seminal paper which established the foundations for the field of computational complexity theory" (Hartmanis and Stearns, 1965). In 1994 he was inducted as a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery.
Stearns earned his PhD from Princeton University in 1961. His PhD thesis adviser was Harold W. Kuhn. Stearns is now Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Computer Science at the University at Albany, which is part of the State University of New York.