David Harel

David Harel (Hebrew: דוד הראל; born 12 April 1950) is a computer scientist at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, and holds the William Sussman Professorial Chair of Mathematics. Born in London, England, he was Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science at the institute for seven years. He currently also serves as Vice-President of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.

David Harel
David Harel (right) with Carl Hewitt at FLoC 2006
Born (1950-04-12) 12 April 1950
London, England, UK
NationalityIsraeli and British
Scientific career
FieldsComputer Science
InstitutionsWeizmann Institute


Harel is best known for his work on dynamic logic, computability, database theory, software engineering and modelling biological systems. In the 1980s he invented the graphical language of Statecharts for specifying and programming reactive systems, which has been adopted as part of the UML standard. Since the late 1990s he has concentrated on a scenario-based approach to programming such systems, launched by his co-invention (with W. Damm) of Live Sequence Charts. He has published expository accounts of computer science, such as his award winning 1987 book "Algorithmics: The Spirit of Computing" and his 2000 book "Computers Ltd.: What They Really Can’t do", and has presented series on computer science for Israeli radio and television. He has also worked on other diverse topics, such as graph layout, computer science education and the analysis and communication of odors.

Harel completed his PhD at MIT between 1976 and 1978. In 1987, he co-founded the software company I-Logix, which in 2006 became part of IBM.

He has advocated building a full computer model of the Caenorhabditis elegans nematode, which was the first multicellular organism to have its genome completely sequenced. The eventual completeness of such a model depends on his updated version of the Turing test.

He is a fellow of the ACM, the IEEE, the AAAS, and EATCS.

Harel is active in several peace and human rights organisations in Israel.

Awards and honours

See also


  1. David Harel – Award Winner, ACM. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  2. "Israel Prize Official Site (in Hebrew) – Recipient's C.V."
  3. "Israel Prize Official Site (in Hebrew) – Judges' Rationale for Grant to Recipient".
  4. Member profile, Academia Europaea. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  5. "Lauree honoris causa" (in Italian). 13 December 2016. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  6. Member profile, Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.
  7. Member profile, National Academy of Engineering. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  8. Newly elected members, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, April 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  9. "2019 NAS Election". National Academy of Sciences. 30 April 2019.
  • David Harel's home page at the Weizmann Institute of Science.
  • David Harel's page at the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.
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