• 1939
    (b.) -
    2004 August 20


Paul and his colleague Paul Dirksen led a team of programmers developing a fast FORTRAN compiler called WATFOR (WATerloo FORtran), for the IBM System/360 family of computers. The /360 WATFOR project was initiated by Professor J. Wesley Graham, following the successful implementation in 1965 of a WATFOR compiler for the IBM 7040 computer. An enhanced version of the /360 WATFOR compiler was called WATFIV, variously interpreted to mean "WATerloo Fortran IV" or "WATFOR-plus-one". WATFOR and WATFIV made FORTRAN programming accessible not only to university students and researchers but to high schoolers as well, and largely established Waterloo's early reputation as a centre for software and Computer Science research. In 1972, Cress and Dirksen were joint winners of the Grace Murray Hopper Award from the Association for Computing Machinery, "For the creation of the WATFOR Compiler, the first member of a powerful new family of diagnostic and educational programming tools." Paul Cress died August 20, 2004, aged 65.