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Olivier Danvy

Research interests:
Programming and programming languages in general
and functional programming (Scheme, ML), partial evaluation, and continuations in particular.

  • During the fourth quarter of 2007-2008, this spring,
    I have been teaching the undergraduate course on programming languages.
  • During the first quarter of 2008-2008, this fall,
    I will be teaching the graduate course on Thesis Preparation (TP).
  • During the third quarter of 2008-2009, next spring,
    I will be teaching a graduate course on functional-programming techniques.


`Lektor' (associate professor) in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Aarhus in Aarhus, Denmark.


Former PhD students:

Former recent MSc students:

Daimiposten, December 2001.
"Until the dolphin flies
and parrots live at sea."
Stevie Wonder

[Our beautiful University logo.]

"As usual,
something funny happens
at the left of the arrow."
John Reynolds
Aarhus, June 27, 2000

"Plus ça change,
plus c'est la même chose."
Alphonse Karr (1808-1890)

"A mathematician is expected
to sit at his computer and think."
Hari Seldon

"Or thwim."
John McCarthy

"Humour is the affectionate communication of insight."
Leo Rosten

Knox: "Forgive me for asking a crass
and naive question --- but what is the point
of devising a machine that cannot be built
in order to prove
that there are certain mathematical statements
that cannot be proved?
Is there any practical value in all this?"
Turing: "The possibilities are boundless."
Breaking the Code
Department of Computer Science, University of Aarhus
IT-parken, Aabogade 34, DK-8200 Aarhus N, Denmark [New location and postal address.]
E-mail: danvy hat
Office: Room 228, Turing building [New office.]
Phone (direct): (+45) 89 42 93 39 [New phone number.]
Fax (departmental): (+45) 89 42 56 01 [New fax number.]

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Recent work:

"It is fairly obvious
that I am not uninfluenced
by Peter Landin
and Christopher Strachey
and that I do not regret
their influence upon me."
Edsger W. Dijkstra
(Such a prescient use
of double negation.)

"Quand je n'ai plus de rouge,
je prends du bleu."
("When I run out of red,
I take some blue.")
Pablo Picasso

"Dixie," I said, "you got to understand
this kind of work.
I don't have a game plan.
I sort of feel my way along.
When I run into something I don't know,
I try to find out.
When I find out enough,
then maybe there's a way
to figure out what to do.
And maybe there isn't.
You can't know until you find out
what there is to find out."

"What are the facts?
Again and again and again
--- what are the facts?
Shun wishful thinking,
ignore divine revelation,
forget what "the stars foretell",
avoid opinion,
care not what the neighbors think,
never mind the unguessable "verdict of history"
--- what are the facts,
and to how many decimal places?
You pilot always in to an unknown future;
facts are your only chance.
Get the facts!"
Lazarus Long

"Facts, Hercule, facts.
Nothing matters but the facts.
Without them the science
of criminal investigation
is nothing more
than a guessing game.
Now then, the facts
in this case are..."
Inspector Jacques Clouseau

"The fact of 0 is 1
and the fact of n
is n times the fact of n-1."
(Popular mantra
in some computer-science circles.)

"On theories such as these we cannot rely.
Proof we need. Proof!"

"Proof may be a luxury
we cannot afford."
Mace Windu

"Beware of theories
without theorems."
Marcel-Paul Schützenberger


The last chance Texaco
(in reference to Rickie Lee Jones,
and courtesy of Jürgen Koslowski).

"I am continuing."
Ian Watson
(in answer to "How are you doing?")

Forthcoming events:

"Here we stand,
peering down the dizzying depths of doom drop!
Do we turn around and retreat
to the stupefying security of home and hearth?
OR do we brave the descent,
risk demise,
and experience the flood of somatic sensation
that screams that we are alive,
gloriously alive,
however temporarily??"

Recent events:

"Nostalgy is not what it used to be."

"But the years went by and the strip just died
Susie Derkins left us for some foreign guy
Long nights crying by our flying machine
Dreams of Spaceman Spiff and of breaking free
But they'll never still the "boinks" we've got
Getting Rid Of these so Slimy girlS
Running fast as the weeks went past
We really thought being six years would last

Well character building is something shocking
When Miss Wormwood just can't keep still
I never knew such a boring time and I guess I never will
Oh boarding again those wagon flights
With monster fights under the bed at night
And the character building was out of sight
La... lalalalala... (ad libitum)"

with friendly technical thanks to Jan Midtgaard
for sharing his songwriting expertise
and dutiful apologies to Calvon John and Hobbsie Taupin


"The urgent kills the important."


"Don't get cocky, kid.
It's when you're taking bows
that the world most likes
to kick your butt."
Sarah Connor
About acknowledgment indexing:
If commenting someone else's work starts to be worth some credit,
it will encourage people to comment each other's work some more,
which will mechanically lead to better results
and, in all likelihood, to a better world.
"And that is an encouraging thought."
"Moonlight Sonovanata.
The moon most watched on Earth."
Victor Borge (1909-2000)

"There's one in every crowd."
Eric Clapton
A sample of acknowledgments:
"Professor Schickele appears
courtesy of his mother."
from The Abduction of Figaro.

The last minute is a dangerous time.

One person's program is another program's data. June 27, 2008 -- danvy hat daimi dot au dot dk