Birol Aygün

We lost Asst. Prof. Dr. Birol Aygün on July 30, 2015. The computer and software engineering communities have lost an esteemed member, Yeditepe University has lost a precious academician, and we, at the Computer Engineering Department, have lost a highly respected colleague and teacher who, in all difficult circumstances, would provide wisdom deriving from common sense, maturity, as well as years of experience acquired since the heyday of computer engineering in the 1970’s.

Birol Aygün had all his higher education in the USA. After graduating in 1965 as a mechanical engineer from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, he got his MSc in Computer Science from Columbia University in New York in 1968, and in 1974, his PhD from Carnegie-Mellon University, one of the most prestigious institutions of the world in software engineering. During his PhD studies, he was a student of such famous “fathers” of computer engineering as Alan J. Perlis, Allen Newell and Herbert Simon. The techniques he developed for monitoring software behaviour were later taught in many academic institutions including the State University of Arizona.

Beside his academic endeavours, Prof. Aygün’s professional activities have always been intense, leading to his never declining grasp of the fundamental issues of this industry. His professional career that started with Bell Telephone in New Jersey in 1965-67 continued with various posts in IBM in the period 1967-84, and after returning to Turkey in 1984, in Enka Holding and later in  Aykom – Ashford Computing Systems Inc. which he founded and led until his death. He joined the Yeditepe University Computer Engineering Department in 2001, but his teaching career had already started in the US in institutions such as Carnegie-Mellon University and Vassar College, and continued with occasional teaching in Sabancı and Boğaziçi Universities; always maintaining the close parallelism between the professional  and academic worlds.

We shall always miss Birol Hoca; his memory will illuminate for us the paths of being responsible academicians and the integration of academic life with industrial issues.

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