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Daniel D - Department für Informatik - Universität Oldenburg

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10. Februar 2006

Laudatio anlässlich der

Verleihung der

Ehrendoktorwürde

Dr. - Ing. h.c. an

Herrn Prof. Dr. Daniel D.

Gajski

Prof. Dr. Franz Rammig


Magnifizen z , dear Dan, dear Anna, Ladies an d

Gentlemen,

Today we are honouring a hero of Com puter

Science. I could characterize him as one of the

grand old men in Electronic Design

Auto mation. But I will not. First of all Prof.

Daniel Gajski is not an old m a n at all and on

the other hand people m ay think that by grand

I want to characterize his tall appearance. So I

prefer to call him a hero.

At m a ny u niversities oral exa minations as part

of a PhD - exa m start with the head of the

exa mination com mittee introducing the

candidate via his CV. Today we do not have an

exa m: Who of us could examine Prof. Gajski!

Nevertheless I will s hortly recall his CV:

Daniel D. Gajski did receive his Diploma in

Engineering an d his Master of Science degree in

Electrical Engineering fro m the University of

Zagreb, Croatia. In 1974 he did receive his

Ph.D. in Com p uter Science fro m the University

of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia.

Now he was ready for m ajor impacts on

com p uter industry. For 10 years he was a

practitioner in the areas of digital circuit

design, su per computing and VLSI design. The

results were convincing but for a genius like

Prof. Gajski the pers pectives in industry do not


each far enough. So he decided to join

acade mia again. And of course not just

acade mia but one of the m ost prestigious

u niversities in computer science: the University

of Illinois at Urbana - Cha m paign. Finally he

contributed substantially to the high

reputation of the Infor mation an d Com puter

Science Depart ment of the University of

California at Irvine. Here he holds the Henry

Sa m ueli Endowed Chair in the Depart ments of

Electrical and Com puter Engineering an d

Com puter Science and is foun der an d director

of UCI’s Center of Embedded Com puter

Syste ms.

Due to his pioneering contributions to VLSI

design, to Syste m Level Design an d for his

work on CAD tools he was appointed IEEE

Fellow.

So, let’s speak about the scientific contributions of

Prof. G ajski:

I re me m ber very well w hen in the early nineties he

used a party at m y ho me in Paderborn to test the

reaction of a E uropean audience to his ironical dinner

speech given so me days later at E U R O D A C in

H a m b urg. T his speech w as entitled “Publish or

Perish: T he E asy W a y”. N o other person could have

given such an ironical speech better than D a niel

G ajski. H e always tried the hard w ay!


The scientific fields where Prof. Gajski m a de

s ubstantial contributions are m a nifold an d his

achievements are highly impressive.

At Urbana - Cha m pain, he concentrated his

research on parallel processing and computer

architecture. He was the principal architect of

the CEDAR m achine, the leading US

s u perco m p uter project at that time. There

were only few re markable scientific papers in

the field of s u perco m p uter architectures at

this time that did not reference the research

carried out by Prof. Gajski.

In the sequel Daniel Gajski concentrated his

research on the design process of digital

syste ms. His achievements cover m a ny as pects

of this area. He es pecially contributed to

for malize and auto mate the design process,

fro m s pecification down to implementation.

These efforts have later been extended by him

towards embedded syste ms. His develop ment

of m o deling techniques, design languages, and

algorith m s to su p port s pecification, analysis,

validation and synthesis of e mbedded

com p uter syste m s has substantial impact on

the entire field.

Daniel Gajski is an outstanding visionary. This

enabled him to discover funda mental

principles in the design of digital syste m s.

Once he com plained that the m ost cited of his

n u merous p ublications is this one with the

least content. He m eant his fa mous article


where he introduced what is known as Gajski’s

Y-diagra m today. With that assess ment of his

article, however, he was u nnecessarily

u n pretentious. Before Gajski’s Y-diagra m has

been introduced there was a great confusion

an d fruitless discussions about str ucturing the

design process an d the docu ments produced

d uring this process. Just by or dering the

docu ments in two orthogonal aspects, na mely

levels of abstraction an d views he succeeded to

sort out the chaos. He identified the

fun da mental views of behaviour, structure and

geometry an d initiated a discussion about the

levels of abstraction to be considered when

designing digital syste ms. This contribution

was a great achievement in an acade mic sense.

From now on it was m uch easier to teach

st u dents how to design digital syste m s; it

beca me m uch easier to identify research areas

u n d uncovered research challenges. Even m ore

important: this result allowed the design

auto mation industry to develop so

s uccessfully. As there was a general agree ment

now, which type of docu ments have to be

pro duced d uring the design process and how

these docu ments can be categorized it also

beca me m uch clearer what type of tools are

necessary to create these docu ments. As a

result the design of digital syste ms is

categorized and har monized in a way m uch

s u perior to m ost other engineering disciplines.

When people use digital electronics as the

exa m ple of rapidly developing technology: the


principle driving force is design auto mation.

And design auto mation needs well un derstood

principles and categories. So it was just this

little article by Dan Gajski which did light the

fire!

Daniel Gajski’s did not just light the fire, he

also fuelled it s ubstantially. During the last

three decades he achieved pioneering results.

He was a principal contributor to the areas

Silicon Compilation, High - Level Synthesis, an d

Syste m - Level Design.

In the eighties Daniel Gajski m a de m ajor

contributions in the develop ment of Silicon

Com pilation. This was the first time when

digital circuits have been developed based on a

for mal s pecification. In those days this

approach was com pletely novel. It beca me the

starting point of electronic design auto mation

as used everywhere in industry today.

In the late eighties Daniel Gajski became one of

the m ain pioneers in creating the research area

of

High - Level Synthesis. Following his strict

scientific way of thinking he introd uced very

clear definitions of proble ms to be solved,

developed new algorith m s and implemented

s uccessful prototypes. He was well ahead of

the general develop ment. Concepts of High

Level Synthesis are entering industrial

application just now; m ore than a decade after

Dan Gajski’s pioneering work. The “Interactive

Synthesis Environ ment (ISE)” m ay serve as an


exa m ple. It was developed un der the

leadership of Dan Gajski, introduced

s uccessfully to the m arket an d finally resulted

in foun ding YExplorations, Inc., a start - u p

com pany that develops advanced High - Level

Synthesis tools and brings the m to m arket.

In the early nineties Daniel Gajski m oved his

concern to the completely new area of

Syste m - Level design. He created new

approaches for an integrated develop ment of

HW-

/SW - Systems. Together with his research

group he developed the so called „100 - hour

design cycle“, which resulted in a tre mendous

enhance ment of productivity an d design time

reduction. For this p urpose Dan Gajski

developed the first generation of syste m level

design languages an d tools: SpecCharts and

SpecSyn. They successfully addressed the new

challenges of syste m level design.

Prof. Gajski never rests content with achieved

results. So in the late nineties he developed a

second generation of Syste m - Level Design

methods u n d tools, now based on the C -

language. At the sa me time these techniques

allow reuse of design components (IPs or

COTs) in a well structured m a n ner.

Daniel Gajski is Spiritus Rector an d leader of a

research tea m that developed the language

SpecC an d the design method based on this

language. This language definition ha d a

worldwide impact on both, acade mia and


industry. In 1999 a couple of leading

com panies created the SpecC Technology Open

Consortiu m (STOC) in or der to further an d

stan dar dize the SpecC technology. Today STOC

is for med by m ore than 30 u niversities and

m ore than 30 companies, including INTEL,

Motorola, NEC, Sony, Toshiba, an d Yamaha.

Concepts and results of Dan Gajski can be

found also in other leading Syste m Level

design languages an d design flows, as widely

accepted in industry. The SpecC language as

well as its metho dology is cited as reference

an d inspiration for the develop ment of

Syste mC, which currently is m ostly used in

Syste m Level design. In addition a couple of

newly founded com panies (e.g. InterDesign

Technologies, Inc. in Japan) rest on SpecC

technology.

Daniel Gajski is foun der and director of the

Center for Embedded Com p uter Syste ms

(CECS) at the University of California at Irvine.

CECS is a leading research institute for

embed de d applications in the auto motive,

com m u nications and me dical areas. Currently

CECS consists of 22 faculty me m bers and 70

graduate students in the fields of Com puter

Science, Electrical Engineering, Aerospace, an d

Medical Science. We at Heinz Nixdorf Institute

in Paderborn are prou d that a for mal

cooperation agreement of our two institutes

s hows the signature of Prof. Gajski.


In his acade mic career Dan Gajski was advisor

of m ore than 30 Ph.D. st u dents. In the m ean -

time they became either professors at

prestigious universities or went to leading

com panies of the EDA industry like Synopsys,

Cadence, Mentor Graphics. In m ost cases these

for mer st u dents of Dan Gajski became key

persons in their companies.

There is no serious person of the acade mic or

industrial com m u nity in the EDA field that

does not know Prof. Gajski. As a consequence

the invited talks, key note ad dresses, an d

tutorials given at prestigious conferences or

for leading com panies cannot be counted. In

addition he has been invited to innu merable

panel discussions an d guest lectures.

It is not sur prising that he was chairing the

progra m com mittees of m ore or less each

serious conference in the field and was

reviewer for all m ajor conferences, journals,

an d book series. His advice has been asked for

by the govern ment an d by compa nies.

Daniel Gajski is editor, author and co - author

of seven books and nu merous book chapters.

So he is co - editor of the book " Advanced

Com puter Architectures” (IEEE Press, 1986)

an d editor of the book " Silicon Com pilation

"(Reading, MA: Addison - Wesley, 1988). He co -

authored the books „High Level Synthesis: An

Introduction to Chip and Syste m Design” (New

York: Kluwer - Acade mic,1992), “Specification


an d Design of Embedded Systems” (Englewood

Cliffs, NJ:

Prentice Hall, 1994), “SpecC: Specification

Language an d Methodology” (Boston:

Kluwer - Acade mic, 2000), an d “Syste m - level

Design: A Practical Guide with SpecC”

(Boston: Kluwer - Acade mic, 2001). Finally he is

author of the textbook "Principles of

digital Design“" (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice

Hall, 1995) used worldwide at u niversities for

teaching digital design. Dan Gajski’s books

have been translated into m a ny languages an d

are highly acknowledged as leading books of

the res pective areas. In addition to his books

Dan Gajski p ublished m ore than 200 papers in

leading jour nals and conferences. He received

a couple of best pa per awar ds and

no minations. He is holding five patents in the

area of computer design. A couple of

stan dar disation com mittees have been chaired

by him or he was me m ber of the m.

It is not sur prising that Dan Gajski received

n u merous research grants d uring his

professional career.

To su m u p: Prof. Daniel Gajski m a de

fun da mental contributions to the state of the

art in the field electronic design auto mation. A

great impact on the way how digital HW/SW -

syste ms are designed today in theory and

practice can be observed.


The Carl von Ossietzki Universität Oldenburg

is just the right place to honour Prof. Daniel

Gajski by a p hilosop hical doctor for honour’s

sake. There are long lasting research

connections, especially to the grou p of Prof.

Nebel. Dan Gajski gave a couple of talks here in

the infor matics colloquiu m and gave

s ubstantial advice to a couple of Ph.D. stu dents

in Oldenburg. Teaching in technical

infor matics at the University of Oldenburg is

heavily influenced by the results of Dan

Gajski’s research.

Prof. Daniel Gajski and honourable

representatives of the Carl von Ossiet zki

Universität Oldenburg: I would like to

congratulate both; Prof. Daniel D. Gajski for his

p hilosophical doctor degree for honour’s sake

an d the University for being honoured at the

sa me time by s uch an outstan ding scientist

a mong its laureates.

Thank you very m uch!

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