Sunday, October 5, 2008

Herbert Stoyan will speak at Lisp50

Herbert Stoyan
Herbert Stoyan started 1970 with work in AI and with LISP programming. In Dresden he implemented LISP without a manual using the book of Berkeley and Bobrow. Later he wrote several books on LISP and AI programming. In 1979 he got interested in LISP history and collected systematically all documents related to LISP. Based on this he published several papers on LISP history. He was head of the chair of AI at the University of Erlangen. His research interest are knowledge acquisition, knowledge representation and historical information system. The last large LISP programm he wrote is a blazon-to-postscript compiler which generates coats-of-arms.

LISP 50 years ago - what the documents tell.
The current state of knowledge about the development of LISP is incomplete. There are the memories of the developer - J.M.CCarthy - and the memories of the programmers and students. The recollections are not free of gaps and do not fit with the written and printed documents in all details. The special problem is that related to September and October 1958 and from March 1959 we have many documents showing the development, but between we miss proofs. In the talk I present the documents, show the logical development and make some speculations how the sequence of events might have been. Additionally I show some old photographs of the acting people.

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