About this book
This book outlines the scientific career of Arto Salomaa, a pioneer in theoretical computer science and mathematics. The author first interviewed the subject and his family and collaborators, and he then researched this fascinating biography of an intellectual who was key in the development of these fields.
Early chapters progress chronologically from Academician Salomaa's origins, childhood, and education to his professional successes in science, teaching, and publishing. His most impactful direct research efforts have been in the areas of automata and formal languages. Beyond that he has influenced many more scientists and professionals through collaborations, teaching, and books on topics such as biocomputing and cryptography.
The author offers insights into Finnish history, culture, and academia, while historians of computer science will appreciate the vignettes describing some of the people who have shaped the field from the 1950s to today. The author and his subject return throughout to underlying themes such as the importance of family and the value of longstanding collegial relationships, while the work and achievements are leavened with humor and references to interests such as music, sport, and the sauna.