Exhibition: People Behind Informatics

An exhibition in memory of Ole-Johan Dahl, Edsger Wybe Dijkstra, and Kristen Nygaard.

Three well-known and important European computing scientists died within a very short time during the summer of 2002: Edsger W. Dijkstra from the Netherlands and Ole-Johan Dahl and Kristen Nygaard from Norway. These three men, born around 1930, were among the brightest stars of early informatics. All three were honoured with the ACM A. M. Turing Award, by many considered the Nobel Prize of Computing, for their work.

Dijkstra received the Turing Award as early as 1972 for being a principal contributor in the late 1950's to the development of the ALGOL, a high level programming language which has become a model of clarity and mathematical rigor. Dahl and Nygaard received the Award in 2001 for ideas fundamental to the emergence of object oriented programming, through their design of the programming languages Simula I and Simula 67. Dahl and Nygaard were also co-recipients of the 2002 IEEE John von Neumann Medal for the introduction of the concepts underlying object-oriented programming through the design and implementation of SIMULA 67.

Edsger W. Dijkstra   Kristen Nygaard   Ole-Johan Dahl
(11 May 1930–6 Aug 2002)   (27 Aug 1926–10 Aug 2002)   (12 Oct 1931–29 Jun 2002)

To honour Dahl, Dijkstra, and Nygaard, the University of Klagenfurt, Austria, established a memorial exhibition in connection with two conferences (Euro-Par and JMLC) held in Klagenfurt at the end of August 2003. The exhibition, which was most fittingly named People behind Informatics, showed the evolution of the field of information and communication technology during the lifetime of Dahl, Dijkstra, and Nygaard, as well as their main accomplishments and places in the history.

The University of Klagenfurt, has generously turned the exhibition over to the Institute of Informatics at the University of Oslo. The exhibition will be shown during ECOOP 2004 near the main conference site in the University Library Building, Georg Sverdrups House.

A virtual exhibition, accessible to anyone, can be found on the web at http://cs-exhibitions.uni-klu.ac.at/.