1. Why were you initially drawn to formal methods?
When a graduate student at Harvard, I took a logic course with Quine. I was not turned on by that course, although I foundQuine quite helpful in personal interactions. I then took a second course with Burton Dreben. Dreben was quite disorganized, and the course was rather chaotic, but Dreben brought to the course the enthusiasm of a young man, and that caught. Indeed, Dreben remained a ‘young man’ until his death in 1999 at the age of 71. Moreover, after an unsuccessful attempt to introduce us to Herbrand’s thesis (it was discovered later than there were mistakes in that thesis) Dreben abruptly switched to Martin Davis’s book Computability and Unsolvability (McGraw Hill, 1958). I had spent the previous summer as a programmer for Minneapolis Honeywell, and Davis’ Turing machine based treatment went down as easy as pie. I decided to do my dissertation in Logic.
But Dreben suddenly took a leave of absence, and many of the
different acquaintance with formal methods came about as a
But there had also been an earlier ‘logical’ influence on me. As