The FZI Deeply Mourns for Gerhard Goos

Professor em. Dr. Dr. h. c. Gerhard Goos, Scientific Director emeritus of the FZI and one of the founding fathers of computer science, passed away on April 20, 2020 at the age of 82 years. Through his commitment, his textbooks and his application-oriented research, he was a pioneer of many of today's recognised institutions of computer science. We thus do not only lose one of the initiators of the FZI with Gerhard Goos: Above all, we mourn for the loss of an important personality and highly esteemed person, colleague, doctoral thesis supervisor and a veteran of computer science in Germany. We send our deepest sympathy and sincere condolences to his family.

Picture: KIT/ Markus Breig

"Gerhard Goos has contributed to the success of the FZI in three ways: Almost 40 years ago as one of the co-founders with a visionary idea at that time, also for 30 years as a passionate scientific director with great professional and personal charisma reaching far beyond his research group and eventually almost for 10 years in the role of a Scientific Director emeritus as an experienced advisor and sought-after source of inspiration for the FZI. We at the FZI will honour the memory of him as an extremely committed, extremely competent and technically far-sighted colleague. We will remember him with great gratitude and sadness and would like to express our deepest sympathy to his family in this difficult time," states Andreas Oberweis on behalf of all employees and the Board of Executive Directors of the FZI.

Gerhard Goos was the first professor of computer science at the University of Karlsruhe (TH). He made a major contribution to the foundation of Germany's first computer science faculty in 1972 and "thus shaped the beginning of Germany’s nationwide research in computer science  from Karlsruhe". He was also actively involved in the foundation of the International Computer Science Institute (ICSI) in Berkeley, which is an independent research centre for basic research in computer science as well as the transfer of knowledge and technology between Germany and the USA. As author of fundamental computer science textbooks and editor of various journals such as “Informatik-Spektrum” or the book series “Lecture Notes in Computer Science” as well as through his numerous publications, he shaped the discipline of computer science.

His work and commitment have been recognised worldwide. For his achievements in computer science, Gerhard Goos received, amongst others, the ACM Award in 2014 as well as the honorary title of Fellow of the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP) in 2019 for his many years of service to computer science worldwide.

In 1984, Gerhard Goos was one of the founders and early companions of the FZI, alongside Klaus Bender, Hans Grabowski, Gerhard Krüger, Peter C. Lockemann, Ulrich Rembold, Detlef Schmid, Gerhard Schweizer, Werner Zorn and the former university chancellor Gerhard Selmayr, the former minister-president Lothar Späth and the entrepreneur Gunther Schroff. From the very beginning, he led his research group at the FZI as a Scientific Director. Between 1986 and 1991, he also shaped the Gesellschaft für Mathematik und Datenverarbeitung (society for mathematics and data processing) as a member of the Board of Executive Directors, which was Germany's major large-scale research institution for computer science (GMD) at that time. During his time at the FZI he supervised numerous dissertation projects of FZI staff members. Gerhard Goos’ most recent research focuses were the restructuring and reorganisation of object-oriented software as well as translator technologies and formal software construction methods.

Gerhard Goos, who had contributed to the FZI in a remarkable way, retired from actively working at the FZI on January 1, 2011. In recognition of his significant contributions he was ceremonially awarded with the newly created status of "Director emeritus" of the FZI.

The entire FZI mourns the loss of Gerhard Goos, with whom we are not only losing a highly esteemed personality, but a proactive personality and mastermind for the scientific landscape of computer science in Germany and beyond. His work has and will continue to pave the way for future generations of computer science researchers.

The family has set up a memorial page.