The Danish scientistPeter naurHe was born in Frederiksberg near Copenhagen on October 25, 1928. While still in high school, he developed an interest in astronomy and, with the guidance of staff at the University of Copenhagen Observatory, worked on calculations of the orbits of the comets and minor planets. He began his academic studies at the University of Copenhagen in 1947, obtaining his Master’s degree in Astronomy in 1949.
He spent the year 1950-1951 as a research student at King’s College, Cambridge, England. There he designed a program for the EDSAC (one of the first computers created) to calculate the disturbed motions of minor planets. The years 1952-1953 were spent in the United States, with visits to various astronomical observatories and computer development laboratories, followed by a second stay in Cambridge, England.
From 1953 to 1959 he was a scientific assistant at the Copenhagen Observatory and also served as a consultant in the areas of assembly language and debugging aids for the independent computer lab, Regnecentralen, in the development of the first Danish computer, Dask. He received his Ph.D. in Astronomy in 1957.
Naurjoined the Regnecentralen staff in 1959 to specialize in the area of high-level languages and then became heavily involved in the international development of the Algol 60 programming language. He organized the Algol Bulletin and became one of thirteen international scientists to produce the final design of Algol 60 in 1960. He was appointed editor of the group’s report on language, ALGOL 60 Algorithmic Language Report. As a member of Regnecentralen’s compiler design group,Naurcontributed to the design of compilers for Algol 60 and Cobol characterized by their efficient use of multipass techniques. This experience led him to become interested in the basic principles of data processing, and to publish, in 1974, the book Concise Survey of Computer Methods.
He was co-editor of the Nordic magazine BIT since its inception in 1960.Naurhe also served as Dansk Selskab chair for Datalogi until 1982 from its founding in 1966, and was co-editor of the report of the first conference in Software Engineering in 1968. Since 1969, he has been a professor at the Datalogy Institute of the University of Copenhagen . He was honored with the G. A. Hagemann Medal in 1963, the Jens Rosenkjær Prize in 1966.
Naurwas also the winner of the 2005 AM Turing Award, the highest honor in computer science, for “fundamental contributions to programming language design and definition of Algol 60, compiler design, and the art and practice of computer programming“.