Obituary Edmund M. Clarke

We are deeply saddened by the loss of Edmund M. Clarke,
who passed away in December 2020.

Edmund Clarke is best known for his work on Model Checking,
an automated technique to check temporal logic properties of
computer systems, for which he, Allen Emerson, and Joseph Sifakis
received an ACM Turing Award in 2007. Model Checking had a
tremendous impact in academia as well as industry, and is now
routinely applied to verify hardware and software.

Edmund Clarke, who received an honorary doctorate from TU Wien
in 2012, had close ties to Austria: as a mentor, friend, and
scientific collaborator he was a positive influence and inspiration
to numerous Austrian and Austria-based researchers in the field of
formal methods and automated verification. His ideas and research were
central to the Special Research Program on Rigorous Systems Engineering
(funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF), a joint research effort
of 15 investigators in the field of automated verification and reasoning.

His highly influential publications on Counterexample-Guided Abstraction
Refinement and Bounded Model Checking were co-authored by his then
visitor Helmut Veith and postdoc Armin Biere, both of whom were later
appointed full professors at Austrian universities. The late Helmut Veith
shared a particularly close friendship with Edmund Clarke.

Edmund Clarke was a member of the advisory board of the FWF-funded doctoral
college on Logical Methods in Computer Science, a keynote speaker
at the official opening of the Vienna Center of Logic and Algorithms,
and an editor of the Handbook of Model Checking (with Thomas A. Henzinger,
Helmut Veith, and Roderick Bloem). He was a founder of the conference
on Computer-Aided Verification, which was held in Austria in 2014 as
part of the Vienna Summer of Logic and co-chaired by members of the
Austrian research community in 2013, 2014, and 2018.

Edmund Clarke shaped the field of automated verification. He and
his work were instrumental to careers and research paths of many
researchers in Austria, and will continue to serve as an inspiration
for many generations of researchers to come.

Our thoughts are with Edmund Clarke’s family. He will be remembered
not only as a giant in computer science, but also as a great friend.

(written by Georg Weissenbacher)

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