Friedrich L. Bauer

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Friedrich L. Bauer
Friedrich Ludwig Bauer

(1924-06-10)10 June 1924
Died26 March 2015(2015-03-26) (aged 90)
Alma mater Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität
Known for Stack (data structure),
Sequential Formula Translation,
Awards Iron Cross 2nd Class,
Bundesverdienstkreuz 1st Class,
IEEE Computer Pioneer Award (1988)
Scientific career
Fields Computer Science
Applied Mathematics
Institutions University of Mainz
Technical University of Munich
Doctoral advisor Fritz Bopp, Georg Aumann
Doctoral students Manfred Broy, David Gries, Josef Stoer, Peter Wynn, Christoph Zenger

Friedrich Ludwig "Fritz" Bauer (10 June 1924 – 26 March 2015) was a German computer scientist and professor at the Technical University of Munich.



Bauer earned his Abitur in 1942 and served in the Wehrmacht during World War II, from 1943 to 1945. From 1946 to 1950, he studied mathematics and theoretical physics at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich. Bauer received his doctorate under the supervision of Fritz Bopp for his thesis Gruppentheoretische Untersuchungen zur Theorie der Spinwellengleichungen ("Group-theoretic investigations of the theory of spin wave equations") in 1952. He completed his habilitation Über quadratisch konvergente Iterationsverfahren zur Lösung von algebraischen Gleichungen und Eigenwertproblemen ("On quadratically convergent iteration methods for solving algebraic equations and eigenvalue problems") in 1954 at the Technical University of Munich. After teaching as privatdozent at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität from 1954 to 1958, he became extraordinary professor for applied mathematics at the University of Mainz. Since 1963, he worked as a professor of mathematics and (since 1972) computer science at Technical University of Munich. He retired in 1989. [1]

Bauer's early work involved the construction of computing machinery (e.g. the logical relay computer STANISLAUS from 1951-1955 [2] ). In this context, he was the first to propose the widely used stack method of expression evaluation. Bauer also worked in the committees that developed the imperative computer programming languages ALGOL 58 and its successor ALGOL 60, important predecessors to all modern imperative programming languages. In 1968, Bauer coined the term Software Engineering which has been in widespread use since.

Bauer was an influential figure in establishing computer science as an independent subject in German universities.

His scientific contributions spread from numerical analysis (Bauer–Fike theorem) and fundamentals of interpretation and translation of programming languages, to his later works on systematics of program development, especially program transformation methods and systems (CIP-S) and the associated wide-spectrum language system CIP-L. He also wrote a well-respected book on cryptology, Decrypted secrets, now in its fourth edition.

He was the doctoral advisor of 39 students, including Manfred Broy, David Gries, Manfred Paul, Gerhard Seegmüller, Josef Stoer, Peter Wynn, and Christoph Zenger.

Friedrich Bauer was married to Hildegard Bauer-Vogg. He was the father of three sons and two daughters.

Definition of software engineering

Bauer was a colleague of the German Representative the NATO Science Committee. In 1967, NATO had been discussing 'The Software Crisis' and Bauer had suggested the term 'Software Engineering' as a way to conceive of both the problem and the solution. [3]

In 1972, Bauer published the following definition of software engineering:
"Establishment and use of sound engineering principles to economically obtain software that is reliable and works on real machines efficiently." [4]


1944: Iron Cross 2nd Class
1968: Member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences in mathematics and science class
1971: Bavarian Order of Merit
1978: Wilhelm Exner Medal (Austria). [5]
1982: Federal Merit Cross 1st Class
1984: Member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
1986: Bavarian Maximilian Order for Science and Art
1987: Honorary Member of the Society for computer science
1988: Golden Ring of Honour of the German Museum
1988: IEEE Computer Pioneer Award
1997: Heinz-Maier-Leibnitz Medal from the Technical University of Munich
1998: corresponding member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences
2002: Honorary Member of the Deutsches Museum
2004: Silver Medal of Merit of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences
Namesake of the Friedrich L. Bauer Prize for computer science at the TU Munich

In 2014 the TU Munich renamed their largest lecture hall in the department of Informatics and Computer Science after Friedrich Bauer.

Honorary doctorates
1974: Honorary Doctor of the University of Grenoble
1989: Honorary Doctor of the University of Passau
1998: Honorary doctorate from the Bundeswehr University Munich (Neubiberg)


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  1. "Verzeichnis der Professorinnen und Professoren der Universität Mainz". Gutenberg Biographics (in German). Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
  2. Hashigen, Ulf; Keil-Slawik, Reinhard; Norberg, Arthur L., eds. (2002). History of Computing: Software Issues. Berlin Heidelberg New York: Springer-Verlag. pp. 15–16. ISBN   978-3-642-07653-4.
  3. MacKenzie, Donald (2001). Mechanizing Proof: Computing, Risk, and Trust. Cambridge: MIT Press. pp. 34–36. ISBN   0-262-13393-8.
  4. Bauer, F.L., "Software Engineering", Information Processing, 71, 1972
  5. Editor, ÖGV. (2015). Wilhelm Exner Medal. Austrian Trade Association. ÖGV. Austria.