Where academic tradition
meets the exciting future

TUCS Distinguished Lecture

Monday, May 18, 2015 at 13.15

ICT Building, Auditorium Gamma

Click here for the video on Youtube.

Prof. David Harel, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel: "Standing on the Shoulders of a Giant: One Person's Experience of Turing's Impact"

Host: Prof. Ion Petre, Åbo Akademi and Turku Centre for Computer Science

The talk will briefly describe three of Turing’s major achievements, in three different fields: computability, biological modeling and artificial intelligence. Interspersed with this, I will explain how each of them directly motivated and inspired me to work on a number of topics over a period of 30 years, the results of which can all be viewed humbly as extensions and generalizations of Turing’s pioneering and ingenious insights.

Biography: Prof. David Harel has been a faculty member at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel since 1980. He was Head of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science from 1989 to 1995, and was Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science between 1998 and 2004. He is also co-founder of I-Logix, Inc. He received his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1978 in record time of 20 months. He spent two years of postdoctoral work at IBM's Yorktown Heights research center, and sabbatical years at Carnegie-Mellon University, Cornell University and the University of Edinburgh. In the past he worked in several areas of theoretical computer science, including computability theory, logics of programs, database theory, and automata theory. Over the years his activity in these areas diminished, and he became involved in several other areas, including software and systems engineering, visual languages, layout of diagrams, modeling and analysis of biological systems, and the synthesis and communication of smell. He is the inventor of the language of Statecharts and co-inventor of Live Sequence Charts (LSCs), and was part of the team that designed the tools Statemate, Rhapsody, the Play-Engine and PlayGo. He devotes part of his time to expository work: He has delivered a lecture series on Israeli radio and has hosted a series of programs on Israeli television. Some of his writing is intended for a general audience (see, for example, Computers Ltd.: What They Really Can't Do (2000, 2012), and Algorithmics: The Spirit of Computing (1987, 1992, 2003, 2012), which was the Spring 1988 Main Selection of the Macmillan Library of Science. He has received a number of awards, including the ACM Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award (1992), the Israel Prize (2004), the ACM Software System Award (2007), the Emet Prize (2010), and five honorary degrees. He is a Fellow of the ACM (1994), the IEEE (1995) and the AAAS (2007), and a member of the Academia Europaea (2006) and the Israel Academy of Sciences (2010), and a foreign member of the US National Academy of Engineering (2014), and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2014).

The TUCS Distinguished Lecture Series is a forum for public lectures by outstanding national and international researchers in all aspects of computing, coming both from academia and industry. All lectures are free and open to the public.