This Friday, Kristen Nygaard, from the University of Oslo, will give a talk entitled, “A process-oriented conceptual platform for informatics.” Click MORE… for details.

Stanford Seminar on People, Computers, and Design (CS547)
Home page:

This talk will be available as on-line video. Look under Computer Science
547 in

Friday, October 19, 2001, 12:30-2:00pm
Gates B01 (HP Classroom) and SITN

Kristen Nygaard, University of Oslo

Object-orientation is now the dominant style in programming, taught at
introductory level in most places. Students complain that OO is difficult
to learn. Kristen Nygaard is of the opinion that the standard pedagogic in
teaching object-oriented programming is wrong. The reason is that few
teachers and text-book authors understand OO properly. He argues that one
must start with “sufficiently complex examples” instead of “sufficiently
simple examples” in order to teach the pupils the “world view” of
object-orientation. Otherwise they will continue to program as before,
albeit in an object-oriented language.

The lecture is about how object-oriented programming was invented and is
related to other languages and ways of thinking about programs and
processes. It has plenty of anecdotes, most of them with a bearing on how
to understand object-orientation.

Kristen Nygaard is Professor at the University of Oslo and a consultant at
the Norwegian Computing Center. He developed, together with Ole-Johan Dahl,
SIMULA I (1961-65) and SIMULA 67 – the first object oriented programming
languages, introducing the concepts upon which all later object-oriented
programming languages are built: Objects, classes, inheritance, virtual
quantities and multi-threaded (quasi-parallel) program execution. He did
research for Norwegian trade unions on planning, control, and data
processing, all evaluated in light of the objectives of organised labour
(1971-1973). Other research and development work included: the social
impact of computer technology, and the general system description language
DELTA (1973-1975). Since 1976 he has been engaged in the development and
(since 1986) the implementation of the general object oriented programming
language BETA together with Bent Bruun Kristensen, Ole Lehrmann Madsen and
Birger Møller-PedersenThe language is available on a wide range of
computers. His current interests are directed towards the didactical
aspects of the teaching of introductory programming and system
comprehension, and towards contributions to the creation of a unifying
platform for informatics as a science.

Kristen Nygaard worked at the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment
(1948-60), was Director of Research at the Norwegian Computing Center
(1960-84), professor in Aarhus, Denmark (1975-1976) and then professor in
Oslo (1977-1996). In 1987 he was Visiting Professor at Stanford University,
Palo Alto, USA, Visiting Scientist at Xerox PARC in Palo Alto and a
consultant and lecturer at Apple’s Advanced Technology Group. He is Doctor
Honoris Causa at Lund University, Sweden, and Aalborg University, Denmark.
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility has awarded him its
Norbert Wiener Prize for “responsibility in social and professional work”.
He was awarded Computerworld’s honorary prize for “having made Norway known
internationally in the information technology field”, and became – together
with Ole-Johan Dahl – the first to receive the Rosing Prize. He is
Commander of the Order of Saint Olav. He has also been active in Norwegian
politics. He was from the start in 1988 till the victory in the referendum
on 28. November 1994 the chairperson of “Nei til EU” (No to European Union
Membership for Norway), coordinating the efforts to keep Norway outside the
EU, and then the largest political organisation in Norway.

NEXT WEEK – October 26, 2001 – Jonathan Trevor, FX-PAL
M-Links: A UI For Web Interaction On Very Small Devices

The lectures are available each week over the Internet. Look under Computer
Science 547 in
They can be accessed without registration.

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Kristen Nygaard at Stanford