Paul Cohen has died

Paul Cohen has passed away.

While not directly involved in programming languages, as far as I know, his seminal work in logic is certainly known and admired by many in the LtU community.

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paul cohen

This is sad news indeed. A few years ago John Mitchell and I had lunch with him at Stanford to discuss his ideas on programming language design. He was at that time planning to design a new language based on the notation of set theory, and use it to build an alternative to TeX. The discussion ran in various directions, but the main theme was having a means of expressing programs for which their correctness could be assured using conventional methods of mathematics. As I remember it, Cohen's argument was, in essence, that the notation of mathematics is set theory, and programming languages should also be based on set theory. Of course we discussed SetL, and more generally the role of type theory as a form of "computable set theory", but I had the sense that he wasn't buying it.

It was a delightful experience that I shall remember fondly.