Van Oudheusden, Karel, Ph.D.

Universität Siegen

Herrengarten 3
57072 Siegen

Telefon: +32 478235068
Karel Van Oudheusden
Current Positions:
Since 1st January 2017 and 1st October 2017 respectively: Lecturer at KU Leuven in the history of computer science and postdoc at Siegen University.
Previous Positions and Education:
2015 - 2017: Consultant in formal methods and safety engineering of cyber-physical systems, including a six-month stint at Altreonic.
2014 - 2015: Lecturer at Utrecht University, giving five courses in artificial intelligence to students.
2014: Guest lecturer at the Informatics Institute, Faculty of Science, University of Amsterdam.
2010 - 2013: Owner of Lonely Scholar; contracts from: Department of Technology Management, Eindhoven University of Technology & Korteweg-de Vries Institute for Mathematics, University of Amsterdam.
2007 - 2009: Masters (cum laude) in logic and computation, Institute for Logic, Language & Computation, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
2006 - 2007: Postdoc position, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Virginia Tech, USA.
2000 - 2006: PhD in software engineering and embedded systems, in particular: Dissertation: ‘EASYMAP: A Semi-Automatic and Correct-By-Construction Abstract-Data-Type Refinement Tool for Pointer-Intensive Applications’, Supervisor: Prof. Francky Catthoor, Department of Computer Science, KU Leuven, Belgium.
1995 - 2000: Masters (integrated) in software engineering, KU Leuven, Belgium.

Karel Van Oudheusden, alias Edgar G. Daylight, is trained in software engineering (PhD, 2006), mathematical logic (MS, 2009), and the history of computer science (primarily under the mentorship of Gerard Alberts, 2009–2013). He likes combining his programming knowledge with historical research and computability theory. Much inspired by the writings of Donald MacKenzie and Timothy Colburn, he views the history of computer science as both a history of progress and one of conflations (not to mention intellectual pleasantries). One incentive to study the past is to become better informed about present-day, societal issues. Notwithstanding the recent progress made in safety engineering (e.g. by Nancy Leveson et al.), his current understanding of the matter is that bug-free software remains a necessary, yet insufficient, condition for having a secure — and, hence, a humanly safe — Internet of drones, self-driving cars and other Moving Things. To reuse the words of Edsger Dijkstra in an interview with Eloina Pelaez Valdez in the late 1980s: “some things are simply not makeable.” Increasing our understanding of the limits of software, then, is yet another motivation for to study computing’s rich past.

** The PI uses the pseudonym ‘Edgar G. Daylight’ instead of his real name in papers. Each article also contains his real name in small print. One reason why he uses a pen name is because he wants to participate in some social media solely on a professional basis and not on a personal level. **

  • E.G. Daylight. Turing Tales, Lonely Scholar, December 2016.
  • E. Berkers, E.G. Daylight. De geest van de computer: Een geschiedenis van software in Nederland, Uitgeverij Matrijs, October 2016.
  • E.G. Daylight. The Dawn of Software Engineering: from Turing to Dijkstra, Lonely Scholar, April 2012. 


  • C. Floyd, E.G. Daylight. Reflecting on Software Development (working title), to appear in 2018.
  • M.A. Jackson, E.G. Daylight. Formalism & Intuition in Software Development, Lonely Scholar, August 2015.
  • D.E. Knuth, E.G. Daylight. Algorithmic Barriers Falling: P = NP?, Lonely Scholar, November 2014.
  • D.E. Knuth, E.G. Daylight. The Essential Knuth, Lonely Scholar, August 2013.
  • E.G. Daylight. Pluralism in Software Engineering: Turing Award Winner Peter Naur Explains, Lonely Scholar, October 2011.  
Articles in international reviewed Journals (selection of 10):
  1. E.G. Daylight. Towards a Historical Notion of “Turing — the Father of Computer Science”, History and Philosophy of Logic, Vol. 36, No. 3, pp. 205-228, 2015.
  2. 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.
  3. 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, 2015. Impact factor: 3.621
  4. G. Alberts, E.G. Daylight. Universality versus Locality: the Amsterdam Style of ALGOL Implementation, IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, Oct.-Dec., Issue 4, pp. 52-63, 2014.
  5. E.G. Daylight. A Turing Tale, Communications of the ACM, Vol. 57, No. 10, pp. 36-38, 2014. Impact factor: 3.621
  6. E.G. Daylight. Dijkstra’s Rallying Cry for Generalization: The Advent of the Recursive Procedure, late 1950s - early 1960s, The Computer Journal, Vol. 54, No. 11, pp. 1756-1772, 2011.
  7. E.G. Daylight, W.M. Koolen, P.M.B. Vitànyi. Time-Bounded Incompressibility of Compressible Strings and Sequences, Information Processing Letters, Vol. 109, No. 18, pp. 1055-1059, 2009.
  8. E.G. Daylight, A. Vandecappelle, F. CatthoorThe Formalism Underlying EASYMAP: a Precompiler for Refinement-Based Exploration of Hierarchical Data Organizations, Science of Computer Programming, Vol. 72, No. 3, pp. 71-135, 2008.
  9. M. Temmerman, E.G. Daylight, F. Catthoor, S. Demeyer, T. Dhaene. Optimizing Data Structures at the Modeling Level in Embedded Multimedia, Journal of Systems Architecture, Vol. 53, No. 8, pp. 539-549, 2007. Impact factor: 1.270
  10. E.G. Daylight, D. Atienza, A. Vandecappelle, F. Catthoor, J.M. Mendias. Memory-Access-Aware Data Structure Transformations for Embedded Software with Dynamic Data Accesses, IEEE Transactions on Very Large Scale Integration Systems, Vol. 12, No. 3, pp. 269-280, 2004. Impact factor: 1.245

Conference contributions (selection of 10):

  1. E.G. Daylight. The Finite vs. the Infinite in Computer Programming of the 1950s-1960s, Mathematics and computation: Historical and epistemological issues, Congress on Logic and Philosophy of Science, Ghent, Sep. 2013. See:
  2. E.G. Daylight. Turing’s Influence on Programming, in: Turing–100, A. Voronkov (Ed.), EPiC Series, Vol. 10, Easy Chair. Manchester, pp. 42-52, 2012.
  3. E.G. Daylight, S. Nanz (Eds). Panel discussions I & II, held at the Future of Software Engineering Symposium, 22-23 November 2010, ETH, Zurich, Lonely Scholar Conversations Series, November 2011.
  4. E.G. Daylight, S.K. Shukla. On the Difficulties of Concurrent-System Design, Illustrated with a 2x2 Switch Case Study, Formal Methods ’09, Eindhoven, pp. 273-288, November 2009.
  5. E.G. Daylight, S.K. Shukla, D. Sergio. Expressing the Behavior of Three Very Different Concurrent Systems by Using Natural Extensions of Separation Logic, EXPRESS ’09, pp. 26-40, September 2009.
  6. E.G. Daylight, S.K. Shukla. Local Causal Reasoning of a Safety-Critical Subway System, MEMOCODE, Nice, France, pp. 83-84, June 2007.
  7. M. Temmerman, E.G. Daylight, F. Catthoor, S. Demeyer, T. Dhaene. Moving Up to the Modeling Level for the Transformation of Data Structures in Embedded Multimedia Applications, Embedded Computer Systems: Architectures, Modeling, and Simulation, 5th Int. Workshop Samos, pp. 445-454, 2005.
  8. E.G. Daylight, B. Demoen, F. CatthoorFormally Specifying Dynamic Data Structures for Embedded Software Design: An Initial Approach (workshop version), Formal Foundations of Embedded Software and Component-Based Software Architectures, Barcelona, Spain, pp. 99-111, March-April 2004.
  9. E.G. Daylight, S. Wuytack, C. Ykman-Couvreur, F. CatthoorAnalyzing Energy Friendly Steady State Phases of Dynamic Application Execution in Terms of Sparse Data Structures, International Symposium on Low Power Electronics and Design, Monterey, California, pp. 76-79, August 2002.
  10. E.G. Daylight, T. Fermentel, C. Ykman-Couvreur, F. CatthoorIncorporating Energy Efficient Data Structures into Modular Software Implementations for Internet-Based Embedded Systems, 3rd International Workshop on Software and Performance, Rome, Italy, pp. 134-141, July 2002.

Talks (selection of 10):

  1. “Strachey's Halting Problem”, Prelaunch Event “What is a (Computer) Program?” — A Roundtable, Paris, France, 20th October 2017. Again: “Category Mistakes in Computer Science at Large: Strachey's Halting Problem”, Fourth International Conference on the History and Philosophy of Computing, Brno, Czech Republic, 4th October 2017.
  2. “Self-Driving Cars are the Zeppelins of the 21st Century: Towards Writing the Next Chapter in the History of Failed Technologies”, Legal, ethical and political issues of computing, World Humanities Conference: Challenges and Responsibilities for a Planet in Transition, Liege, 6th-12th August 2017.
  3. “The long road from proof of concept to real-world autonomous driving”, Podcar City Conference, Antwerp, 20th September 2016. See:
  4. “Category Mistakes in Computer Science”, Siegen University Workshop: Beyond ENIAC: Early Digital Platforms & Practices, Siegen, 10th-12th June 2016.
  5. “Using History to Make Software More Tangible”, 15th Congress of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science: History & Philosophy of Computing, Helsinki, 3rd-8th August 2015.
  6. “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”, Université de Lille 3, UMR 8163 Savoirs, textes, langage, 22nd April 2015.
  7. “From the Pluralistic Past to the Pluralistic Present in Programming”, One-hour lecture for the seminar on the Philosophy and History of Computing, Organized by Mael Pegny and Pierre Mounier-Kuhn in Paris, France, 15th January 2015.
  8. “The Absent Machine: The Making of Computer Science, 19551970”, One-hour lecture with D. Nofre for the Descartes Centre History of Science colloquium, Utrecht University, 16th December 2014.
  9. “The (Non-)Influence of Turing’s Abstract 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, Université Catholique de Louvain, 3rd February 2014.
  10.  “A Unifying Approach Towards Concurrent-System Design, Based on Natural Extensions of Separation Logic”, Process Algebra Meeting at Amsterdam’s Centrum voor Wiskunde & Informatica, 26th September 2007.