Aarhus University Seal

Sven Skyum celebrated

On Friday 5 September 2014 the Department of Computer Science celebrated the retirement of Sven Skyum. Sven Skyum has been part of Aarhus University since 1965. In 1971 he became the first student at DAIMI(Datalogisk Afdeling i Matematisk Institut), the forerunner of the Department of Computer Science. In the following decades, he played a key role in a broad research field that helped to establish the strongest computer science department in Denmark. Now he has retired but he will continue as a reader in Computer Sceince.

Sven Skyum started as a student at Aarhus University in 1965, where he studied physics and mathematics. In 1971 he became the first student at the newly established Computer Science Department at the Mathematical Institute (DAIMI), in the creation of which he was a driving force. In 1972 he was the first student at Aarhus University to get a Master's Degree in computer science. In 1975 he was also the first student at the university to get a PhD degree in computer science. In 1976 Sven Skyum was appointed associate professor at DAIMI but has been employed at the university since 1970. In 1988 he was appointed as Reader (Docent).

During his time at Aarhus University Sven Skyum has played an important role in building up the computer science education. First as a student, later in the creation of DAIMI and finally in various other roles. For many years, he was head of the department’s teaching committee and in the period 2004-2013, he was Head of Studies at the Faculty of Science. In 2013 Sven returned to the Department of Computer Science.

On Friday September 5, 2014 a farewell reception was held for Sven Skyum. The well-attended reception included three talks dealing with the highlights of Sven's career. The talks were given by Peter Bro Miltersen, Kristoffer Arnsfelt Hansen and Gerth Stølting Brodal, and they referred to issues such as complexity theory, algorithm theory, computational geometry and several important dissertations. Among others, a dissertation from 1983 about complexity theory, which is still being cited very frequently, as well as an algorithm in the computational geometry which is being used in several technology areas.

Sven Skyum was subsequently praised in three speeches to be a pioneer and a mentor figure who has built up a large and comprehensive network through his 44-year career. In addition, Sven was worshipped for always having integrated his family as part of his network. Head of Department, Lars Birkedal, also pointed out in his speech that Sven's work has paved the way for the institute to build on his great work and commitment. Other speakers at the reception were Mogens Nielsen and Lars Arge.

In connection with his retirement, the 67-year-old Sven Skyum was given the title reader in Computer Science. emeritus.