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Bowers CIS Community Celebrates Life of Juris Hartmanis

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ACM A.M. Turing Award recipient Juris Hartmanis.

Many students spoke at the event of the tremendous impact that Hartmanis’ support had on their lives and careers.

Credit: Cornell Bowers College of Computing and Information Science

The Cornell Bowers CIS community gathered to honor the life and work of Juris Hartmanis, a Turing Award-winning scientist, founding chair of the Department of Computer Science, and visionary who helped establish computer science as an independent discipline. Hartmanis died July 29 at the age of 94.

At the celebration, held Nov. 4, a dozen colleagues spoke about Hartmanis' significant contributions to the field of computer science, his dedication to building a vibrant and collegial department at Cornell, and the deep impact that his friendship and mentorship had on their lives. More than 60 friends, colleagues, and former students, as well as several family members, attended the event.

Dexter Kozen, the Joseph Newton Pew Jr. Professor in Engineering in the Department of Computer Science, chaired the celebration. "I was one of Juris' first grad students," he said, "and it had a tremendous impact on my life and my career."

Kozen recalled the early days of the Department of Computer Science, back when it was a "theory shop" with just 13 faculty and not a single computer. "Doors were always open," Kozen said. "This is something that Juris started."

Established in 1965, Cornell's Department of Computer Science was one of the first in the world, and early graduates left to form new departments all over the country.


From Cornell Bowers College of Computing and Information Science
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