Victor K. Sabelfeld

How, when, and why have you joined the Programming Department?: 

I was a student of NSU when I came to the Programming Department in 1969 to do a course and then graduate work. My scientific supervisor was V.A. Nepomniaschy. I
became enthusiastic working over the project. I remember very well as I have already admired the creative atmosphere that had prevailed in the department by that time.

Here's just one of the episodes of the time. During two meetings in succession I (a student) made the report at a seminar on the recent work of Kaplan, which applies mathematical approach to the concept of "program" and "equivalence" on programs of models. After the seminar Narinyani, Tyugu and Zwinogrodski (an intern from Poland, I can not warrant for the correct spelling of his names), "lured" me to the hotel, and during some hours we enthusiastically discussed the issues raised in this (and not only) article. Hey, I said to myself, what a great people work here: they are ready to discuss for hours with interest abstract topics and seriously take your student's opinion.

Therefore, when Andrei P. Ershov offered me position of trainee-researcher in his department after my university graduation, I gladly accepted. By the way in August 1971 some my other former classmates came with me to the Programming department. They were Sergei Pokrovsky, Mark Trakhtenbrot, Frida Fenske-Svetlakova, Volodya Shelekhov, Tolik Buda, Pasha Kim, Tanya Vasyuchkova, Irina Anikeeva, and Victor Kasyanov.

What was your first impression of Andrei Ershov and other colleagues?: 

I got my first impression of Andrei Petrovich at his lectures at the university: a well-articulated speech, a clear manner of expression, cheerfulness in communication. It was a striking contrast with some of my professors / interlocutor / colleagues.

Later, I learned to appreciate the great erudition of Andrei Petrovich.

I met with many other colleagues at the seminar of the BETA project. They were, for example, Misha Shvartsman, Alexander Rar, Andrei Baehrs, Raisa Mishkovich.

The impressions were mixed: on the one hand, it was interesting, but on the other hand, from my point of view there were too many unproductive conversations, where such colleagues as Andrei Baehrs began to speak "on the lofty topics", and at the end of lengthy debates, it appeared that Andrei could not tell what he wanted to say. This became especially clear in an attempt to form articulate words in transcripts (it must be said that the meetings were recorded on a tape recorder and later the decoder prepared typescripts of transcripts).

What can you tell about your work at the PD? In what projects you participated? What research fields did you work on? Who was your first direct supervisor?: 

I participated in the following projects:
BETA - multilanguage optimizing compiler;
SOCRATUS - Intellectual Tools for Program Construction at Programmer’s Worksite;
Transformational approach to construction of efficient and reliable programs: models, methods and algorithms;
The development of the theoretical basis and practical methods for improving software quality, efficiency and reliability based on a transformational approach and program annotations;
Transformation of functional programs.
My favorite topics were:
Equivalent program transformation (on models);
Efficient (polynomial) algorithms for recognition of equivalence of programs;
Analysis of properties of programs & Method of marking.

My first immediate supervisor was Valery Nepomniaschy.

Who of your colleagues most influenced your professional growth?: 

They were A.P. Ershov and I.V. Pottosin. I was much obligated to them and I will be always thankful to them also.

Can you name the PD visitors who you remember the most?: 

Masahiro Miyakava: together we have published several joint articles on the complexity of computing the Boolean logic operations on forms provided in the form of trees. We were one step from the discovery of binary decision diagrams (BDDs). I met Masahiro after we both have left Novosibirsk. Masahiro visited me in Karlsruhe twice.

Thanks to Andrei Petrovich, the Programming Department was well-known to many (successful in research on programming) teams, so we have had many famous guests, and many of us had a lot of benefits from communication with them. I could cite here a hundred names, but I limit myself to the people most interesting & important to me: A.A. Letichevsky, Shurik Godlevsky, Sergey Krivoy, Yu.V. Kapitonova, Anisimov, and Lisovik from Kiev, and Prof. F.L. Bauer and Ralph Shtaynbryuggen from Munich.

What is your current occupation?: 

I work in a large industrial project, develop and manage a large system for "Internet + TV + phone" services in Switzerland: Swisscom Schweiz AG, Bern, Switzerland.

With whom of your colleagues at PD are you still connected professionally, or simply on friendly terms?: 

I keep in touch and even meet from time to time with Frida Fenske / Svetlakova, and Mark Trakhtenbrot. I see Olga Tome on the train on the way to work.

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