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Legends from the rise of Computer Science at Aarhus University

On May 26, the department celebrated two milestones – 52 years as an academic field at Aarhus University, and 25 years as an independent department when Datalogisk Afdeling under Matematisk Institut (DAIMI) turned into Department of Computer Science. At the anniversary, we gathered friends and collaborators from all over the world. A special highlight of the event was that we were able to gather a large group of – what we call – the legends of CS. These people have been part of Computer Science from the beginning and have had a great impact on where the department is today.

Thank you for your dedication to the field and department!

Front row from left to right.

Gitte Møldrup – Master #222, vice director of the Alexandra Institute (2000-2002), CEO of IT-vest (the collaboratory IT-university of western Denmark) 2002-2017.

Bjarne Stroustrup – Master #21, Inventor of C++, and honorary professor at the department.

Susanne Bødker – Master #147, PhD #11; Co-PI for CHMI funded by The Danish National Research Foundation (1998-2003), Doctorate degree in Computer Science 1999 and Professor since 2001.

Ivan Bjerre Damgård – Master in mathematics in 1983 from Aarhus University, PhD #13; professor at the department since 2005, co-founder of several cryptography-based companies including Cryptomatic, Particia, and Sepior.

Karen Kjær Møller – Department Secretary since 1971 - de facto Head of Secretariat and with 37 years the longest-sitting in this role when retiring in 2008. Karen is known for her legendary onboarding and supporting international guests and new employees in general.

Peter Mosses – Professor emeritus at Swansea University. Long-term international research guest in the programming language and semantics groups between 1976 and 2004. Served as Head of Department for DAIMI from 1995-1997.

Back row from left to right.

Kaj Grønbæk – Master #299, PhD# 17, professor since 1999, current Head of Department.

Jørgen Lindskov Knudsen – Master #152, PhD #7, associate professor from 1989-2003, but left the department to become CEO of Mjølner Informatics.

Morten Kyng – Master #36, associate professor in 1983, Doctorate Degree in Computer Science 1996 and CEO for Danish National Center for IT Research (CIT) 1996 – 2002. Professor at the department since 2003.

Ole Lehrmann Madsen – Master #33, PhD #4, professor since 1989, and serial entrepreneur as CEO/Chair of the board of Mjølner (1988-1994) and CEO at Alexandra Instituttet (1999-2019).

Gudmund Skovbjerg Frandsen – Master #165, PhD #6, Assistant Professor 1985-1989, became AC-TAP in 1990 within educational administration and teaching. The longest sitting education responsible (UA) for computer science.

Nigel Derrett – PhD from Oxford University in 1974. Lecturer at the department from 1974-1983.

Niels Damgaard Hansen – Master #152, worked at Regnecentralen for 6 years, vice-director of CIT (1996-2002), Head of the NAT-TECH administration since 2005.

Sven Skyum – Master #1 and PhD #1. Associate professor in 1976 and Reader (Docent) in 1988 at the department. Head of Studies at the Faculty of Natural Sciences 2004-2013.

Ole Caprani – Master in mathematics in 1974 from Copenhagen University. Associate professor at the department since 1982, with a main focus on robotics and outreach, and has been a driving force for the Danish Robot Olympiad.

Erik Meineche Schmidt – Master #2, PhD from Cornell University in 1977. Associate professor 1978-2002, and Dean at the Faculty of Natural Sciences from 2002-2010. Emeritus since 2022.

Ole Østerby – Master in mathematics in 1966 from Aarhus University. PhD in applied mathematics in 1972 from Berkeley University. Associate professor at the department from 1981-2009 and the longest sitting editor of ‘Daimi Series’. Emeritus since 2010. .

Dexter Kozen – Visiting professor from Cornell University in 1981-1982 and 1991-1992.

Mogens Nielsen – Master #11, PhD #2, associate professor 1977-2004, professor from 2004-2016. Vice Dean for Research, Faculty of Science and Technology, Aarhus University, 2013– 2015. Emeritus since 2016.

Legendary Head of Department – Professor Kurt Jensen (not present at the celebration)

Kurt Jensen – Master #43, PhD #3, Doctorate Degree in Computer Science in 1995, Professor in 1999. Inventor of Coloured Petri Nets. First Head of Department of the independent department in 1998 and with 20 years in that role, he is the longest sitting Head of Department.