Friedrich L. Bauer

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Friedrich L. Bauer : biography

June 10, 1924 –

Friedrich Ludwig Bauer (born June 10, 1924) is a German computer scientist and professor emeritus at Technical University of Munich.


Bauer earned his Abitur in 1942 and served in the Wehrmacht (German armed forces) from 1943 to 1945. In 1946 he started studying mathematics and theoretical physics at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich (until 1950). Since 1963, he worked as a professor of mathematics and (since 1972) computer science at Technical University of Munich. He retired in 1989.

Bauer’s early work involved the construction of computing machinery (e.g. the logical relay computer Stanislaus in 1951). In this context, he was the first to propose the widely used stack method of expression evaluation. Bauer also worked in the committees that developed the imperative computer programming languages ALGOL 58 and its successor ALGOL 60, important predecessors to all modern imperative programming languages. In 1968, Bauer coined the term Software Engineering which has been in widespread use since.

Bauer was an influential figure in establishing computer science as an independent subject in German universities.

His scientific contributions spread from numerical analysis (Bauer-Fike theorem) and fundamentals of interpretation and translation of programming languages, to his later works on systematics of program development, especially program transformation methods and systems (CIP-S) and the associated wide-spectrum language system CIP-L. He also wrote a well-respected book on cryptology, Decrypted secrets, now in its fourth edition.

He was the doctoral advisor of 39 students, including Manfred Broy, David Gries, Manfred Paul, Gerhard Seegmüller, Josef Stoer, Peter Wynn, and Christoph Zenger.

Friedrich Bauer is married to Dr. Hildegard Bauer-Vogg. He is the father of three sons and two daughters.


1944 Iron Cross 2nd Class
1968: Member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences in mathematics and science class
1971: Bavarian Order of Merit
1978: Wilhelm Exner Medal (Austria)
1982: Federal Merit Cross 1st Class
1984: Member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
1986: Bavarian Maximilian Order for Science and Art
1987: Honorary Member of the Society for computer science
1988: Golden Ring of Honour of the German Museum
1988: IEEE Computer Pioneer Award
1997: Heinz-Maier-Leibnitz Medal from the Technical University of Munich
1998: corresponding member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences
2002: Honorary Member of the Deutsches Museum
2004: Silver Medal of Merit of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences
Friedrich L. Bauer Prize for computer science at the TU Munich
Honorary doctorates
1974: Honorary Doctor of the University of Grenoble
1989: Honorary Doctor of the University of Passau
1998: Honorary doctorate from the Bundeswehr University Munich (Neubiberg)


  • 1960 Sequential Formula Translation, Commun. ACM 3(2): 76-83, (together with Klaus Samelson), a very influential paper on compilers

Definition of software engineering

Bauer was a colleague of the German Representative the NATO Science Committee. In 1967, NATO had been discussing ‘The Software Crisis’ and Bauer had suggested the term ‘Software Engineering’ as a way to conceive of both the problem and the solution."Mechanizing Proof: Computing, Risk, and Trust" By Donald MacKenzie

In 1972, Bauer published the following definition of software engineering: "Establishment and use of sound engineering principles to obtain economically software that is reliable and works on real machines efficiently."Bauer, F.L., "Software Engineering", Information Processing, 71, 1972


  • 1964 Introduction to Algol, F.L. Bauer, R. Baumann, M. Feliciano, K. Samelson, Prentice Hall, ISBN 0-13-477828-6
  • 2006 Decrypted Secrets: Methods and Maxims of Cryptology 4th edition, New York, Springer, ISBN 3-540-24502-2