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  • Oct 4, 1937
    (b.) - ?


A Danish computer scientist, he specializes in research into domain engineering, requirements engineering and formal methods. He worked with Cliff Jones and others on the Vienna Development Method (VDM) at IBM in Vienna (and elsewhere). He first worked in the hardware (logic and systems) design of such equipment as the IBM 1070 (Sweden), the IBM 1800 and IBM 1130 computers (San Jose), and, finally, with Gene Amdahl and Ed Sussenguth, on the IBM ACS/1 supercomputer (Menlo Park). Later he was involved with producing the RAISE (Rigorous Approach to Industrial Software Engineering) formal method with tool support. Born in Odense, Denmark, his father had an M.Sc. degree in Mathematics (from Copenhagen University, 1931) and his mother a B.A. degree in Nordic and Modern English/America Literature (also from Copenhagen University, 1929). He graduated, in 1956, with a senior high school degree in Mathematics and Natural Sciences from the Århus Cathedral School (founded in 1142). He graduated in January 1962 with an M.Sc. degree in Electronics Engineering and received a Ph.D. in Computer Science in January 1969 from the Technical University of Denmark (founded by Hans Christian Ørsted in 1828). He joined IBM in March 1962 at their Nordic Laboratories in Stockholm, Sweden (where he also first met Jean Paul Jacob and Gunnar Wedell). He was transferred to the IBM Systems Development Division (IBM SDD) at San Jose, California, USA, in December 1963. While doing his Ph.D. he was a lecturing consultant to IBM's European Systems Research Institute (ESRI) at Geneva, Switzerland (where he received valuable guidance from Carlo Santacroce and where his friendship with Gerald Weinberg began). In 1969 he worked at IBM's Advanced Computing Systems (IBM ACS) Laboratory in Menlo Park, California, and later that year until early 1973 at IBM Research, San Jose. During his stay at IBM Research he was a visiting lecturer, for several quarters, at University of California at Berkeley (1971-1972). He transferred to the IBM Vienna Laboratory (directed then by Heinz Zemanek), Austria. He resigned from IBM in August 1975 to return to Denmark after basically 13 years abroad. He was a Professor at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) in Lyngby, close to Copenhagen from 1965–1969 and again from 1976–2007, before he retired in March 2007. Together with a colleague, Prof. Christian Gram, he instigated the Dansk Datamatik Center (DDC) in the summer of 1979 and during the 1980s he was Chief Scientist of DDC. During the summer semester of 1980 he was the Danish Chair Professor at the Christian-Albrechts University of Kiel, Germany - hosted by Prof. Dr. Hans Langmaack. In 1982-1984 he was Chairman of a Danish Government (Ministry of Education) Commission on Informatics. He was responsible for establishing the United Nations University International Institute for Software Technology (UNU-IIST), located in Macau, in 1992 and was its first Director. He was a visiting professor at National University of Singapore (NUS) in the academic year 2004-2005, and at Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST), near Kanazawa, in 2006. His magnum opus on software engineering (three volumes) appeared in 2005-2006. To support VDM, he co-founded VDM-Europe, which subsequently became Formal Methods Europe, an organization that supports conferences and related activities. In 2003, he instigated the associated ForTIA Formal Techniques Industry Association. He has published almost 120 papers, authored 4 books (3 in both English and Chinese, and 1 in two English editions), co-authored 2 books and edited & co-edited 11 books. Among publications he has authored or co-authored are: “Software Engineering 1: Abstraction and Modelling”, Texts in Theoretical Computer Science, An EATCS Series, Springer-Verlag. ISBN 3-540-21149-7 (2005); “Software Engineering 2: Specification of Systems and Languages”, Texts in Theoretical Computer Science, An EATCS Series, Springer-Verlag. ISBN 3-540-21150-0 (2006); “Software Engineering 3: Domains, Requirements, and Software Design”, Texts in Theoretical Computer Science, An EATCS Series, Springer-Verlag. ISBN 3-540-21151-9 (2006); “Formal Specification and Software Development”, with C.B. Jones, Prentice Hall International Series in Computer Science, Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-329003-4 (1982); and “The Vienna Development Method: The Meta-Language”, with C.B. Jones, (editors). Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Volume 61, Springer-Verlag. ISBN 3-540-08766-4 (1978). He is a member of The Russian Academy of Natural Sciences (MRANS [AB]), and was a member of IFIP Working Groups 2.2 (1980-2004) and 2.3 (1980-2008). He was made a knight of The Danish Flag of the Order of the Dannebrog in 1985. He received the Danish Engineering Society's (IDA) Informatics Division's (IDA-IT) first BIT prize, March 1999. He was given the degree of honorary doctor (Dr.H.C.) from the Masaryk University, Brno, The Czech Republic, in 2004. He is a Fellow of the IEEE (2004) and ACM (2005). In addition, he has been a member of the Academia Europaea (MAE) since 1989. In 2007, a Symposium was held in Macau in his honor along with Zhou Chaochen. He is married to Kari Bjørner; they have two children and five grandchildren. He received the John von Neumann Medal of the JvN Society of Hungary and the Ths. Masaryk Gold Medal from the Masaryk University, Brno, The Czech Republic.
  • Date of Birth:

    Oct 4, 1937
  • Noted For:

    Team member on the Vienna Development Method (VDM) which led to the first European validated Ada compiler
  • Category of Achievement:

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