Paul Caspi

Curriculum Vitæ

Born on September 13th 1944 in Montsalvy (Cantal department) I graduated from Ecole polytechnique (1965-1967). I then studied neurophysiology and automatic control and worked as a research engineer in a research association called Adersa, headed by Jacques Richalet. During my work I found a thesis subject consisting in looking for stable algorithms for identifying unstable systems. After an unsuccessful "drop-out" attempt in the region of Grenoble, I presented a "doctorat d´état en sciences physiques" thesis at INPG (1978).

At the same time I joined CNRS in Computer Science in Gabrièle Saucier's team where I worked on fault-tolerant architectures, in particular with Jacques Pulou who taught me most of my computer science. Here, I met Nicolas Halbwachs and we worked together on formalisms for specifying timed systems. During this work I understood the remarkable adequacy that existed between data-flow concepts and formalisms used in automatic control. This gave me the idea of a programming language which I called LUSTRE (as an acronym for synchronous real-time Lucid). Developed by Nicolas Halbwachs, this language is both an industrial and scientific success and I am quite proud of this. This work and the friendly support of Gérard Berry led us to win the Monpetit 2004 prize of the Académie des sciences.

I then spent a lot of time trying to understand what synchrony meant, particularly with Albert Benveniste. Meanwhile, I discovered Philip Wadler's papers on "listlessness"and "deforestation". I then understood that synchrony was also a mean of efficiently dealing with lazy evaluation in functional programming. This originated my present work with Marc Pouzet.

In parallel, thanks to Gabrièle Saucier, I was member of the SACEM committee of the French "Ministère des transports" who audited the safety computing system of "RER A" Paris underground. I worked a lot for this committee and I think I found a good proof for the safety process invented for this system by Philippe Forin from "Matra-Transport". Since then I am considered an expert in this field and, for instance, I acted as a scientific advisor for the safety system of the Lyon underground.

Grenoble 15th October 2004