Tribute to Jacob T. “Jack” Schwartz by David Levin, Director General of the LEDAS Company

I recently came across the following tribute to Jack Schwartz by David Levin, a student of Academician Andrei Petrovich Ershov. I have mentioned Levin before. He is the Jewish student taken on by Ershov at a time when it was politically unwise to do so. Ershov, to his great credit, accepted Levin as a student, and Levin’s many accomplishments attest to the wisdom of his vision. I met David at a conference on SETL in Moscow in September, 1976. The conference was jointly sponsored by the national Academies of Science of the United States and the Soviet Union.


A prominent American scientist, professor of the Courant Institute Jack Schwartz passed away on March, 2nd, at the age of 79. Prof. Schwartz is well known for his works in the area of programming languages, parallel programming, artificial intelligence, and as a creator of SETL. He was a friend of Andrei Ershov and visited Akademgorodok several times. In particular, close collaboration between the Programming department and NYU within the SETL project was possible due to his efforts. The Computing center veterans remember him very well as a noted scientist and charming person. We feel deep sorrow at his death and express our condolence to his family and colleagues.


Memoria by David Levin, director general of the LEDAS Company

Jack Schwartz had strongly and positively impacted my personal and professional biography. And this is not only about the project on implementation and development of the set-theoretical language SETL and its applications – Jack was equally brilliant in all spheres where I’ve been lucky to see him: be it writing a program on-line, making his choice in the Chinese restaurant, developing a fundamental concept for optimal data representation, or talking about proper trajectory of life in extreme Russian conditions of early 90ties.

Jack Schwartz worked in an extraordinary wide range of research directions: the theory of linear operators, von Neumann algebras, quantum field theory, time-sharing, parallel computing, programming language design and implementation, robotics, set-theoretic approaches in computational logic, proof and program verification systems; multimedia authoring tools; experimental studies of visual perception; multimedia and other high-level software techniques for analysis and visualization of bioinformatics data:

This remarkable variety has always been combined with the first-rate results, which is described best of all by Jack’s colleague Martin Davis: “Jack’s style has been to enter a new field, master quickly the existing research literature, add the stamp of his own forceful vision in a series of research contributions, and finally, leave behind an active research group that continues fruitful research for many years along the lines he has laid down”.

Topic: jack-schwartz

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One Trackback

  1. By 2009 – Deaths S « The Graveyard on January 1, 2010 at 10:22

    […] Schwartz, Jacob T. (January 9, 1930 – March 2, 2009) Website (tribute); New York Times obit; David Levin tribute (blog) Scott, Bob (May 11, 1938 – March 26, 2009) Guardian obit; Times obit Scott-James, Anne […]

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