Elected in 1999
“For the invention of temporal logic and other tools for designing and
verifying software and systems.”
BY DAVID HAREL AND MOSHE VARDI
AMIR PNUELI, a pioneer in the fields of specification, verification, and analysis of computer systems, and a Turing Award winner, died after suffering a brain hemorrhage on November 2, 2009. His sudden death shocked the international computing community.
A brilliant man who was shy, modest, and graceful, Pnueli, or simply Amir as he was called by anyone who knew him, was born in Nahalal, in what is now Israel, on April 22, 1941. He spent the bulk of his career at Tel Aviv University and at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and in recent years also at New York University.
Amir did his doctoral work at Weizmann in applied mathematics under the late Chaim L. Pekeris, writing a thesis in 1967 on the calculation of ocean tides. Immediately thereafter he made a transition to computer science, working as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University and at IBM’s research center in Yorktown Heights, New York, for two years. He returned to Israel in 1968 as a faculty member in the Department of Applied Mathematics at the Weizmann Institute and in 1973 moved to Tel Aviv University, where he founded the Department of Computer Science and was its first chair. In 1980, Pnueli returned to the Weizmann Institute as a professor, together with three younger computer scientists—