David Parnas

David Parnas was a pioneer of software engineering who developed module design, social responsibility, and professionalism.


Module Design: Parnas wrote about the criteria for designing modules, in other words, the criteria for grouping functions together. This was a key predecessor to designing objects, and today's object-oriented design.

Social Responsibility: Parnas also took a key stand against the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) in the mid 1980s, arguing that would be impossible to write an application that was free enough from errors to be safely deployed.

Professionalism: Parnas became one of the first software engineers to earn a professional engineering license in Canada. He believes that software engineering is a branch of traditional engineering.


Dr. Parnas won an ACM "Best Paper" Award in 1979. He won two "Most Influential Paper" awards from the International Conference on Software Engineering. He won ACM SIGSOFT's "Outstanding Research" award in 1998.

Parnas earned his Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon University, and worked there as a professor for many years. He then went to McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He currently works at the University of Limerick in Limerick, Ireland.




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