ISR Distinguished Speaker

Mehdi Jazayeri

Technical University of Vienna and
“Evolution of Programming Languages (viewed through three editions of a textbook)”
Friday, January 26, 2001 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm

Email RSVP required to Rick Martin at by Monday, January 22.

McDonnell Douglas Auditorium (building #311)

No cost to attend.


Click here for directions and parking information.


 In 1980, Carlo Ghezzi and I started to write a textbook on programming languages. It seemed to us at that time that the field was stabilizing after a very active period of innovation, experimentation and consolidation. The first edition of the book was published in 1982. Contrary to our thoughts then, the field of programming languages has did not stabilize. It stayed active and constantly surprised us in the following years. The second edition of the book was published in 1987 and the third in 1997. Over these years, the field has been so active that each edition required basically a rewrite. As each edition was going to press, a new language was in vogue. By looking back over the time periods of the three editions, I will present the developements that we anticipated and those that surprised us. I will also look at the issues that both necessitate the constant changes in the programming language field and promise an exciting future.

About the Speaker: 

Mehdi Jazayeri is professor of computer science and heads the Distributed Systems Group at the Technical University of Vienna. He is interested in programming, software engineering, programming languages, and distributed and parallel systems. He has worked at both technical and management capacities at Hewlett-Packard Laboratories, Palo Alto, Synapse Computer Corporation, Ridge Computers, and TRW Vidar. He spent two years in Pisa, Italy, to set up and manage a joint research project on parallel systems between Hewlett-Packard and the University of Pisa. He has been an assistant professor of computer science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, adjunct professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Santa Clara, and San Jose State University. He was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Helsinki (1979) and a visiting professor at the Politecnico di Milano (1988). He was a principal investigator on an Esprit project on Software Architectures for Embedded Systems. He is currently involved in several European Union projects.

He has coauthored two textbooks, Fundamentals of Software Engineering (Prentice Hall, 1991), and Programming Language Concepts (John Wiley, 1982, 1987, 1998), and a collection, Process-Centered Software Engineering Environments (IEEE Computer Society Press, 1995). His latest book is Software Architecture for Product Families: Principles and Practice.