Dines Bjørner: Biography#

Family &c.: Dines Bjørner (DB) was born in Odense, Denmark, in 1937. His father had an MSc degree in Mathematics (from Copenhagen University, 1931) and his mother a BA degree in Nordic and Modern English/America Literature (also from Copenhagen University, 1929). Since 1965 DB has been married to Kari Skallerud Bjørner (Oslo, Norway). They have two children, Charlotte and Nikolaj, and five grandchildren.

Educational Background: DB graduated, in 1956, with a senior high school degree in Mathematics and Natural Sciences from the Århus Cathedral School (founded in 1142). DB graduated in January 1962 with an MSc in Electronics Engineering and with a Ph.D. in Computer Science in January 1969 from the Technical University of Denmark (founded by Hans Christian Ørsted in 1828).

IBM Career: DB joined IBM in March 1962 at their Nordic Laboratories (founded by Cai Kinberg) in Stockholm, Sweden (where DB also first met Jean Paul Jacob and Gunnar Wedell). DB was transferred to the IBM Systems Development Division (IBM SDD) at San Jose, California, USA, in December 1963. While doing his Ph.D. (September 1965 - January 1969) DB was a lecturing consultant to IBM's European Systems Research Institute (ESRI) at Geneva, Switzerland (where DB received valuable guidance from Carlo Santacroce and where DB's friendship with Gerald Weinberg started) (1967-1968). In 1969 DB worked at IBM's Advanced Computing Systems (IBM ACS) Laboratory, Menlo Park, California, and, later that year until early 1973 at IBM Research, San Jose (again Jean Paul Jacob became a colleague). Transferred to the IBM Vienna Laboratory (directed then by Heinz Zemanek), Austria, DB resigned from IBM in August 1975 to return to Denmark after basically 13 years abroad.

Career Outside and After IBM: During his stay at IBM Research DB was a visiting lecturer, for several quarters, at University of California at Berkeley (1971-1972), instigated by Lotfi Zadeh whom DB considers his main mentor and for whom DB has the fondest regards. DB was a visiting guest professor at Copenhagen University in the academic year 1975-1976, before taking up his chair in September 1976 at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). During the summer semester of 1980 DB was the Danish Chair Professor at the Christian-Albrechts University of Kiel, Germany -- hosted by Prof. Dr. Hans Langmaack. Together with a colleague, Prof. Christian Gram, DB instigated the Dansk Datamatik Center (DDC) in the summer of 1979. During the 1980s DB was chief scientist of DDC. In 1982-1984 DB was chairman of a Danish Government (Ministry of Education) Commission on Informatics. DB was the founding and first UN Director of UNU-IIST, the United Nations University's International Institute for Software Technology, located in Macau. DB was a visiting professor at NUS: National University of Singapore in the academic year 2004-2005, and a research guest professor at JAIST, Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan for basically the calendar year 2006.

Lectures and Graduates: DB has lectured and regularly lectures on six continents in almost 50 countries and territories and has advised more than 130 MSc's and some two dozen PhDs.

DB was a visiting professor at Université Henri Poincaré and at INRIA/LORIA, Nancy, France (Oct.-Dec. 2007). During the fall and spring of 2008-2009 DB was lecturing at the Techn. Univ. of Graz, Austria (Oct.-Dec.) and at University of Saarland, Saarbrücken, Germany (March). DB was a distinguished SICSA visitor at the University of Edinburgh (Sept.-Oct. 2009) and a visiting guest professor at Tokyo University, Japan (Nov.-Dec. 2009). In April 2010 DB was a visiting professor at the Technical University of Vienna, Austria. For the fall of 2010 lectures are planned at Uppsala Univ., Sweden (Oct.) and Eövös Lorand Univ., Budapest (Oct.-Nov.).

Research &c. Work: At IBM DB first worked in the hardware (logic and systems) design of such equipment as the IBM 1070 (Sweden), the IBM 1800 and IBM 1130 computers (San Jose), and, finally, with Gene Amdahl and Ed Sussenguth, on the IBM ACS/1 supercomputer (Menlo Park). At Research DB worked with the late John W. Backus and the late Ted Codd on Functional Languages, resp. Relational Data Base Systems. At Vienna, DB, together with such colleagues as Peter Lucas, the late Hans Bekic, Kurt Walk, and Cliff B. Jones, worked on a Denotational (-like) Semantics Description of PL/I while, with his colleagues conceiving, researching, developing and using VDM (the Vienna software Development Method). At DTU and at DDC, supported by the European Community, DB initiated several advanced research & development projects: (1) Formal Semantics Description of and (2) full language Compiler for CHILL (the Intl. Telecommunications Unions Communications [C.C.I.T.T.] High Level Language) -- both significantly developed by Peter L. Haff (and the late Søren Prehn); (3) Formal Semantics Description of and (4) the first European US DoD officially validated Compiler for the US DoD Ada embedded systems programming language -- with significant and indispensable contributions by DB's colleagues Dr. Hans Bruun, Dr. Ole N. Oest and, again, the late Søren Prehn; (5) RAISE (Rigorous Approach to Industrial Software Engineering, headed by the late Søren Prehn and Chris George); (6) Formal Semantics Definition of VDM-SL (the VDM Specification Language, Bo Stig Hansen and Peter Gorm Larsen); (7) ProCoS (Provably Correct Systems) with, amongst others, Profs. Sir Tony Hoare (then Oxford, now Microsoft Research, Cambridge, UK), Hans Langmaack (Kiel) and Ernst-Rüdiger Olderog (Oldenburg) and others.

UNU-IIST: At UNU-IIST DB had a rather free hand, and was able, with a small team of excellent colleagues (Prof. Zhou Chaochen (Academician, the Chinese Academy of Science), the late Søren Prehn, Chris W. George, Richard Moore, Tomasz Janowski, Dang Van Hung, Xu Qi Wen and Kees Middelburg), to further explore the research issues still occupying DB's interest, and to apply them in a number of joint R&D projects with institutions in developing and newly industrialised countries [including newly independent states] (Argentina, Belarus, Brasil, Cameroun, China, Gabon, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, North Korea, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Ukraine, Uruguay, etc.).

Societal Work: DB was a co-founder of VDM-Europe in 1987 and moved VDM-Europe onto FME: Formal Methods Europe in 1991. DB co-chaired two of the VDM Symposia (1987, 1990), and the International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) in 1989 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. DB was chairman of the IFIP World Congress in Dublin, Ireland in 1986, and was the instigator and General Chairman of the first World Congress on Formal Methods, FM'99, in Toulouse, France, September 20-24, 1999. DB was chairman of Academia Europaea's Informatics Section 2004-2009. DB has otherwise been involved in about 60 other scientific conferences. DB is a member of the parish council of the Virum (Lutheran Protestant Danish Folk) Church.

Awards &c.: DB is a Knight of The Danish Flag; is a member of Academia Europaea (MAE); is a member of The Russian Academy of Natural Sciences (MRANS [AB]), and was a member of IFIP Working Groups 2.2 (1980-2004) and 2.3 (1980-2008). DB has received the John von Neumann Medal of the JvN Society of Hungary and the Ths. Masaryk Gold Medal from the Masaryk University, Brno, The Czech Republic. DB received the Danish Engineering Society's (IDA) Informatics Division's (IDA-IT) first BIT prize, March 1999. DB was given the degree of honorary doctor from the Masaryk University, Brno, The Czech Republic, in 2004. DB is an ACM Fellow and an IEEE Fellow.

Publications: DB has published more than a hundred papers, authored 4 books (3 in both English and Chinese, and 1 in two English editions), co-authored 2 books and edited & co-edited 11 books. These publications, reports, etc., are included in the 179 entry bibliography

Research Interests: DB's research interests, since his Vienna days, have centered on programming methodology: methods as sets of principles for selecting and applying mathematics-based analysis and construction techniques and tools in order efficiently to construct efficient artefacts -- notably software. DB sees his main contributions to be in the research, development and propagation of formal specification principles and techniques. Currently DB focuses on the triptych of (1) domain engineering, (2) requirements engineering and (3) software design methods -- emphasising such that relate these in mathematical as well as technical ways: (1) intrinsic, support technology, management & organisation, rules & regulation, and human behaviour facets of domains; and (2) projection, instantiation, extension and initialisation of domain requirements, etc. See also the separate listings on Dines Bjoerner's own page

Acknowledgements: Among the very many people for whom DB has a special, professional fondness, people who have helped DB in his professional career, he wishes to bear tribute, in approximate chronological order, to (the late) Cai Kinberg, Gunnar Wedell, Jean Paul Jacob, Gerald Weinberg, Gene Amdahl, Ed Sussenguth, Tien Chi (T.C.) Chen, Lotfi Zadeh, (the late) Ted Codd, (the late) John W. Backus, Peter Lucas, Cliff Jones, (the late) Hans Bekic, Kurt Walk, Christian Gram, Ole N. Oest, Erich Neuhold, (the late) Søren Prehn, Sir Tony Hoare, Hans Langmaack, Larry Druffel, Zhou Chao Chen and Chris George.

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