About Me

Edgar Graham Daylight

Short CV:

Picture of Edgar

  • Ph.D. in software engineering at IMEC, Leuven (2000–2006).
  • Post-doc researcher at Virginia Tech (2006–2007).
  • MS in Logic at the University of Amsterdam (2007–2009).
  • Researcher in the history of software engineering (2010–2013) with positions at:
    • Korteweg-de Vries Institute for Mathematics, University of Amsterdam
    • Department of Technology Management, Eindhoven University of Technology
  • Guest lecturer at the University of Amsterdam (January 2014).
  • Lecturer at Utrecht University (1 February 2014 – 31 August 2015).
  • Current positions: consultant in safety engineering and guest lecturer at KU Leuven in the history of computer science.


The incentive for this blog in my words:

Just as an extensive account of Einstein's ideas aids us in grasping the constituents of our universe, research of Dijkstra's numerous writings helps crystallize some of the most important ideas underlying our digital society.


Relevant publications:



Articles in international reviewed journals (selection)

  • L. De Mol, M. Bullynck, E.G. Daylight. A Short History of Small Machines. Under peer review.
  • E.G. Daylight. Towards a Historical Notion of 'Turing — the Father of Computer Science'. Special issue of the journal History and Philosophy of Logic, Vol. 36, No. 3, 2015. (Published online: 4 November 2015.)
  • E.G. Daylight. From Mathematical Logic to Programming-Language Semantics — a Discussion with Tony Hoare. Journal of Logic and Computation, Vol. 25, pp. 1091-1110, 2015.
  • M. Bullynck, E.G. Daylight, L. De Mol. Why Did Computer Science Make a Hero out of Turing? Communications of the ACM, Vol. 58, No. 3, pp. 37-39, March 2015. Draft paper available here. Official version here.
  • G. Alberts, E.G. Daylight. Universality versus Locality: the Amsterdam Style of ALGOL Implementation. IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, October-December, Issue 4, pp. 52-63, 2014.
  • E.G. Daylight. A Turing Tale. Communications of the ACM, Vol. 57, No. 10, pp. 36-38, 2014.
  • E.G. Daylight. Dijkstra's Rallying Cry for Generalization: the Advent of the Recursive Procedure, late 1950s — early 1960s. The Computer Journal, March 2011. Paper available here.


Contributions at international conferences, published in proceedings or book chapters (selection)


Invited talks and unpublished contributions at international events (selection)

  • The long road from proof of concept to real-world autonomous driving. Podcar City Conference, Antwerp, 20 September 2016.
  • Category Mistakes in Computer Science. Siegen University Workshop: "Beyond ENIAC: Early Digital Platforms & Practices," 10-12 June 2016.
  • Using History to Make Software More Tangible. HaPoC Special Session at the 15th Congress on Logic, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science, Helsinki, 17 August 2015.
  • Towards a Dutch Perspective on the Beginnings of Machine-Independent Programming. One-hour lecture for the seminar "Interactions between logic, computer science and linguistics: history and philosophy. Organized by Liesbeth De Mol, University de Lille 3, UMR 8163 Savoirs, textes, langage, 22 April 2015.
  • From the Pluralistic Past to the Pluralistic Present in Programming. Monthly seminar on the Philosophy and History of Computing. Organized by Mael Pegny and Pierre Mounier-Kuhn in Paris, France, 15 January 2015.
  • With D. Nofre. The Absent Machine: The Making of Computer Science, 1955-1970. One-hour lecture for the Descartes Centre History of Science colloquium, Utrecht University, 16 December 2014.
  • The (non-)influence of Turing's abstract formal results on the development of computers & computer science. Two-hour lecture for the seminar `Foundations and Fundamental Concepts' at the Institute of Mathematics and Physics in Louvain-la-Neuve (Universite Catholique de Louvain), 3 February 2014.
  • Edsger W. Dijkstra in the 1980s: proving theorems by programming an ideal, non-existing, machine. iCHSTM, Manchester, July 2013.
  • Programming in the 1950s: from Loop Controlled Machines to Universal Turing Machines. Computability in Europe, Milan, July 2013.
  • A Hard Look at George Dyson's book "Turing's Cathedral". Turing in Context II, Brussels, October 2012.


Varia (selection)

  • An interview of E.G. Daylight by Dave Walden in autumn 2014.
  • E.G. Daylight. Turing's 1936 Paper and the first Dutch Computers. Written for the ACM blog on 19 August 2013.
  • E.G. Daylight. A short biography of Peter Naur, the 2005 Turing award winner. Written for the official ACM website on Turing award winners, May 2012. See http://amturing.acm.org/  
  • E.G. Daylight. Turing's 1936 Paper and the Origins of Computer Programming — as experienced by E.W. Dijkstra. Presentation for the Summer School on "Oral History and Technological Memory: Challenges in Studying European Pasts," University of Turku, Finland, 14 August 2009.


Contact:  egdaylight AT dijkstrascry DOT com