• 1925
    (b.) -
    2010 December 29


Most recently a Professor in the School of Computing Science at Middlesex University in Hendon, northwest London, England; from 1972 to 2002 he was a Professor and Head of the Computing Department at Imperial College London. His research contributions include the early realization of the software evolution phenomenon and the eponymous Lehman's laws of software evolution. Born in Germany, his family emigrated to England in 1931. At a young age he developed an interest in mathematics and science, working to obtain a National Electronics Certificate. This earned him a technical state scholarship in 1949 enabling him to attend Imperial College, London obtaining a Mathematics degree. As an undergraduate he was involved in the design of the Imperial College Computing Engine's Digital Computer Arithmetic Unit. He obtained his Ph.D. in 1957 while doing computer research at Ferranti's London laboratory. He spent a year at Ferranti before moving to Haifa, Israel where he continued his work for the Israeli Defense Ministry, designing low-budget digital computers with magnetic core memories. While there, he helped to develop second address registers (modifiers) and the use of printed circuit boards. From 1964 to 1972 he worked at IBM's research division in Yorktown Heights, New York, U.S. where he studied program evolution with Les Belady. The study of IBM's programming process gave the foundations for Lehman's laws of software evolution which describe a balance between forces driving new developments on one hand, and forces that slow down progress on the other hand. In 1969, he wrote the report, ?The Programming Process? which pioneered the concepts of systems evolution and feedback. It was there that he designed arithmetic units for the supercomputer project and researched parallel processing. In 1972 he returned to Imperial College where he was Head of Section and later Head of Department (1979?1984). He remained at Imperial for some thirty years until 2002 when he moved to the School of Computing Science at Middlesex University. He was the recipient of the Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (1989), a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) (1994), and the 2001 IEEE Harlan D. Mills Award, "For pioneering contributions to the empirical study of software processes and program evolution". This award was announced in the ICSE 2001 Conference in Toronto, Canada. After retiring from Middlesex he moved to Jerusalem, Israel, where he passed away in 2010.
  • Date of Birth:

  • Date of Death:

    2010 December 29
  • Noted For:

    Recognizer of the software evolution phenomenon and the eponymous Lehman's laws of software evolution
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