Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

John C. Reynolds June 1, 1935 - April 28, 2013 Computer Science Professor at Cmu

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

John C. Reynolds June 1, 1935 - April 28, 2013 Computer Science Professor at Cmu

Article excerpt

Despite his responsibilities as a prominent faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University, John C. Reynolds managed to find time outside the classroom to nurture the ideas of students, junior faculty and other developing academics.

A research colleague said he discovered that when he was invited as a visiting graduate student nearly a quarter-century ago to stay in Mr. Reynolds' home in Shadyside and found the man willing to spend hours engaging him in his ideas. He also found it later in life as the two worked together on cutting-edge research.

"For me, this was an amazing experience, talking to one of the greatest minds computer science has known," Peter O'Hearn, who now works at University College London, recalled Thursday in an email. "He was sharp but forgiving. He caught my mistakes but always met them with a more positive suggestion of new possibilities."

Mr. Reynolds, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon since 1986, died Sunday at Forbes Hospice of cancer and congestive heart disease. He was 77 and continued to teach until retiring in January of this year.

He and Mr. O'Hearn went on to collaborate a decade ago on what Carnegie Mellon said was some of the most influential published works done by Mr. Reynolds, whose interests centered around designing programming languages and developing tools and methods for uses, including verification of program correctness.

According to Carnegie Mellon, the pair created "a framework for reasoning about programs called separation logic." The university said their work has blossomed into a sizable area of research.

There were others at Carnegie Mellon who recalled Mr. Reynolds' nurturing side, among them Frank Pfenning, head of the Computer Science Department, who was a postdoctoral student there when he met Mr. Reynolds in 1986.

He recalled how Mr. …

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