Alain Colmerauer

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Alain Colmerauer
A-Colmerauer web-800x423.jpg
Born(1941-01-24)24 January 1941
Carcassonne, France
Died12 May 2017(2017-05-12) (aged 76)
Marseille, France
Known forProlog
SpouseColette Coursaget
Scientific career
ThesisPrecedences, analyse syntaxique et langages de programmation (1967)
Doctoral advisorLouis Bolliet, Jean Kuntzman

Alain Colmerauer (24 January 1941 – 12 May 2017) was a French computer scientist. He was a professor at Aix-Marseille University, and the creator of the logic programming language Prolog.

Early life[edit]

Alain Colmerauer was born on 24 January 1941 in Carcassonne.[1] He graduated from the Grenoble Institute of Technology,[2] and he earned a PhD from the Ensimag in Grenoble.[3]


Colmerauer spent 1967–1970 as assistant professor at the University of Montreal,[3] where he created Q-Systems, one of the earliest linguistic formalisms used in the development of the TAUM-METEO machine translation prototype.[2] Developing Prolog III in 1984, he was one of the main founders of the field of constraint logic programming.[2]

Colmerauer became an associate professor at Aix-Marseille University in Luminy in 1970. He was promoted to full professor in 1979. From 1993 to 1995, he was head of the Laboratoire d'Informatique de Marseille (LIM), a joint laboratory of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, the Université de Provence and the Université de la Méditerranée.[3] Despite retiring as emeritus professor in 2006,[3] he remained a member of the artificial intelligence taskforce in Luminy.[4]

Colmerauer won an award from the regional council of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, and in 1985 the Michel Monpetit Award, from the French Academy of Sciences.[5] In 1986, he was made a knight of the Legion of Honour by the French government.[3] He became Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence in 1991,[6] and received the Association for Constraint Programming's Research Excellence Award in 2008.[7] He was also a correspondent of the French Academy of Sciences in the area of mathematics.[8]


Colmerauer died on 12 May 2017.[3][9][10][11]


  1. ^ "Colmerauer, Alain (1941-....)". IdRef. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Cohen, Jacques (November 2001). "A Tribute to Alain Colmerauer". Theory and Practice of Logic Programming. 1 (6): 637–646. arXiv:cs/0402058. doi:10.1017/S1471068401001119. S2CID 7946933.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Editors (15 May 2017). "In Memoriam: Alain Colmerauer". Association for Logic Programming. Retrieved 18 May 2017. {{cite web}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  4. ^ Colmerauer, Alain. Bibliothèque nationale de France. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  5. ^ "PRIX DE COMMISSIONS". La Vie des sciences. 1985. Retrieved 19 May 2017 – via Bibliothèque nationale de France.
  6. ^ "ELECTED AAAI FELLOWS". American Association of Artificial Intelligence. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  7. ^ "Research Excellence Award". Association for Constraint Programming. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  8. ^ "Alain Colmerauer". Académie des sciences. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  9. ^ Fisher, Lawrence M. "In Memoriam Alain Colmerauer: 1941–2017". Communications of the ACM. ACM. Retrieved 23 May 2017. — According to this obituary, Alain Colmerauer died on 15 May.
  10. ^ (in French)
  11. ^ (in French)

External links[edit]