Pnueli, Amir

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PNUELI, AMIR (1941– ), Israeli computer scientist. Born in Nahalal, Israel, he gained his B.Sc. in mathematics from the Haifa Technion and Ph.D. in applied mathematics from the Weizmann Institute for his thesis on calculating ocean tides. His interest in computer science developed during postdoctoral fellowships at Stanford University, Palo Alto, California and IBM's Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, New York. He returned to Israel as a senior research associate in the department of applied mathematics at the Weizmann Institute before moving to Tel Aviv University as professor and founder and chairman of the department of computer science (1973–81). From 1981 he was professor of computer science at the Weizmann Institute. Pnueli's main research achievements concern the application to computing of temporal logic, defined as the inclusion of temporal information within a logical framework. He developed what are termed "reactive systems" which extend this logic into real-time methods of formal analysis. With David Harel, he devised "Statecharts," a visual language for modeling reactive systems. His research has influenced the theory, design and validation of computing systems and especially methods for verifying the reliability of complex software such as that used in civil aviation. Pnueli has a long-term and continuing interest in the commercial applications of his research to program design, teaching, message switching, operating systems, data compilation, and military purposes. In 1971 he cofounded the software company Mini-Systems which was, until 1982, Israel's sole provider of computer-aided graphic printing systems. In 1989 he cofounded AdCad, which evolved into I-Logic and produces Statemate, a program dealing with complex computing such as control and communication systems. He is coauthor (with Zohar Manna) of the standard text on temporal logic. Pnueli's achievements have been universally recognized with the Association of Computing Machinery's Turing Award (1996) and many distinguished lectureships.

[Michael Denman (2nd ed.)]