Long time Department of Computer Science colleague, Arto Salomaa of the Turku Center for Computer Science, University of Turku, Finland, will be awarded a Doctor Honoris Causa degree by Western University on June 13, 2013.
Professor Salomaa's work in computer science has had a profound effect in all aspects of modern society, from guaranteeing the behaviour of the braking systems in our cars to ensuring that credit card transactions are handled properly. His research is a foundation on which modern computer theory has been built.
From the foundation of the discipline up to the present day, Professor Salomaa has been without question one of the most deservingly famous theoretical computer scientists ever in the world. It has been four decades since his book "Formal Languages" was published and it remains one of the 100 most cited texts in mathematics. The ideas within the book are so fundamental that it has been declared a classic by the Association for Computing Machinery. Professor Salomaa is considered "a giant of theoretical computer science” by Turing Award winner J. Hartmanis.
Professor Salomaa has a long and influential history with the Western University. During a two year visit to our university in the 1960’s, he was instrumental in the initial development of our department of computer science, the first in Canada. Western has benefited from this close relationship continuously to this day: a number of his former PhD students have previously served as faculty members at Western as two of them are now. He continues to make annual research visits to Western as he had for the past two decades. Western’s strength in theoretical computer science is directly attributable to Professor Salomaa's early influence, as recognized by the "50 Years of Automata Theory" conference that a few years ago attracted to Western all of the living leading figures in the field.