Egon Boerger#

Short laudatio by Hermann Maurer#

Professor Egon Boerger is a pioneer of applying logical methods in computer science. He is co-founder of the international conference series CSL. He is also one of the founders of the Abstract State Machines (ASM) Method for accurate and controlled design and analysis of computer-based systems and co-founder of the series of international ASM workshops. He contributed to the theoretical foundations of the method and initiated its industrial applications in a variety of fields, in particular programming languages, system architectures, requirements and software (re-)engineering, control systems, protocols, web services. To this date, he is one of the leading scientists in ASM-based modeling and verification technology, which he has crucially shaped by his activities. In 2007 he received the prestigious "Humboldt Research Award". Here are some more details:

In the mid 70 ties Boerger wrote his milestone- book on Computability, Complexity, Logic which went through numerous editions and for over a decade became the main reference book for courses on the subject in a number of languages. Through editing books and organizing workshops, summer schools, conferences, including various seminars at the Mathematical Research Institute in Oberwolfach and at Schloss Dagstuhl, Boeger has been committed since the late 70 ties to promote a concrete interaction between logicians and computer scientists, based upon his conviction that the major challenges for contemporary logic are to be found in applying logical methods in computer science. To provide an institutional basis for such an interaction, he founded together with his colleagues Michael Richter and Hans Kleine Buening the series of annual Computer Science Logic workshops in 1986/7 that later became the Annual Conference of the European Association for Computer Science Logic ( The EACSL was founded on Boerger’s initiative on July 14th, 1992, by 37 computer scientists and logicians from 14 countries gathered in a Dagstuhl Seminar on Computer Science Logic. Boerger’s research activities in logic and complexity theory in the years 19691989 culminated in the book on The Classical Decision Problem, for which he wrote the first half, the one on the classification of undecidable classes of first order logic formulae. The years 1986-1989 brought a shift of interest. They were characterized by a close cooperation between Boeger and Gurevich on the eventual definition of the notion of Abstract State Machines (ASMs). Boerger’s interest was triggered by an attempt to use ASMs to model the logic programming language Prolog. During his sabbatical 1989/90, spent at the IBM Scientic Center Heidelberg (Germany), in particular through his work in the ISO Prolog standardization committee, he recognized the potential of ASMs for building and verifying complex software-based systems in an effectively controllable manner, namely by stepwise refinement of application-domain-focussed abstract ground models to executable code. Since then, he systematically pushed experiments to apply ASMs to real-life, in particular industrial software-based systems. He triggered and led the effort of an international group of researchers which developed what is now known as the ASM method for high-level system design and analysis. He did this through multiple activities: through his own research and publications carried out at numerous research departments in Europe and the US, through the supervision of PhD students in various European countries, through the definition and realization (including tool development) of academic and industrial pilot projects for building verifiable software in a multitude of areas, through over 500 colloquium and conference talks worldwide and through the organization of many seminars, e.g. at Schloss Dagstuhl.

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