David Harel

Weizmann Institute of Science
Computer scientist; Software engineer; Company founder; Educator
Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Computer Sciences
International Honorary Member

Prof. David Harel is currently the Vice President of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, and has been at the Weizmann Institute of Science since 1980. He was Department Head from 1989 to 1995, and was Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science between 1998 and 2004. He now serves as the William Sussman Professor of Mathematics. He is a co-founder of I-Logix, Inc., which is now part of IBM. He is a fellow of the ACM, the IEEE, and EATCS. He received a BSc from Bar-Ilan University (1974), an MSc from Tel-Aviv University (1976) and a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1978). He spent two years at IBM's Yorktown Heights research center, sabbatical years at Carnegie-Mellon University, Cornell University and the University of Edinburgh, and shorter visiting positions at IBM, Lucent Technologies Bell Labs, DEC, NASA, University of Birmingham, Verimag, the National University of Singapore and Microsoft Research Cambridge. From 1991 to 1999 he was an adjunct professor at the Open University of Israel. 

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).

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