Formal Aspects of Software Engineering
J.UCS Special Issue in Honor of Professor Peter Lucas
Bernhard K. Aichernig (Graz University of Technology, Austria)
Brigitte Fröhlich (T-Systems, Austria)
Andreas Kerschbaumer (Graz University of Technology, Austria)
Abstract: The present special issue of J.UCS is a collection of papers presented
at the colloquium Formal Aspects of Software Engineering which took
place on the 18th and 19th of May 2001 in Graz, Austria. The colloquium
was held to mark the retirement of Professor Peter Lucas from his chair
in Software Technology at the Graz University of Technology.
The subject of the colloquium is the central area of research of Peter
and his institute. In scientific talks, several of Peter's colleagues and
friends have presented their view on the past, present and future of formal
development methods in software engineering. The topics cover a broad range
of the field, such as re-engineering using algebraic methods, testing based
on abstraction techniques, modeling in category theory, development tools,
parallel computing, and education.
Peter graduated from the Technical University of Vienna in 1959. He
joined the Vienna research group under Prof. Zemanek and did all the systems
programming for the Mailufterl. In the course of building an Algol 60 compiler
he did original research whose main contribution is known as recursive
descent parsing. In late 1961 the research group joined IBM to form the
nucleus of the IBM laboratory in Vienna. In the following years he did
original research in formal semantics of programming languages and compiler
correctness proofs. The most visible result of this period is probably
the formal definition of PL/I.
In the 1970's Peter continued research in semantic compiler design but
changed the focus to program development in general. In 1972 he was the
first to propose the axiomatic definition of abstract data types (which
were called software devices at this time). In the late 70s he became interested
in new ways of programming applications by highly parameterizing the procedural
code and using rules for representing factual information.
In 1978 Peter moved to the IBM research center in Yorktown Heights where
he joined an experimental compiler project. A year later he moved to the
research center in San Jose where he became active in Rules Technology.
From 1986 to 1987 he worked with Steve Zilles on data stream and graphics
interfaces and among other projects developed a family of completely functional
data types for graphic objects. In 1988 he joined the functional programming
project around John Backus and participated in the definition and implementation
of the functional language FL. Since October 1993 he is full time professor
for software technology at the Graz University of Technology in Austria.
Since 1994 he is the chairman of FME (Formal Methods Europe).
He obtained the IBM Outstanding Contribution Award for the formal specification
of PL/I in 1968 and together with Kurt Walk the ACM best paper award in
1969. Furthermore he is Senior Member of the IEEE, Honorary Professor at
Johannes Kepler University of Linz since 1987, and a corresponding member
of the Austrian Academy of Sciences since 1994.
Peter is also a great teacher. During the 9 years in Graz he held numerous
courses and supervised 6 Ph.D. and about 70 M.Sc. students. The editors
of this issue are current and former assistants and Ph.D. students of Peter.
Thank you, Peter, and good luck for your next career!
Bernhard K. Aichernig, Brigitte Frohlich, and Andreas
Graz, August 2001