Cornelis H. A. Koster

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Cornelis Hermanus Antonius "Kees" Koster
Kees Koster and Stefan Jaenichen in 2000
Kees Koster (left-hand side), 2000
Cornelis Hermanus Antonius Koster

(1943-07-13)13 July 1943
Haarlem, Netherlands
Died21 March 2013(2013-03-21) (aged 69)
EducationUniversity of Amsterdam
Known forALGOL 68
Scientific career
FieldsComputer science
InstitutionsMathematisch Centrum
Technical University of Berlin
Radboud University Nijmegen
InfluencesAdriaan van Wijngaarden

Cornelis Hermanus Antonius "Kees" Koster (13 July 1943 – 21 March 2013)[1] was a Dutch computer scientist who was a professor in the Department of Informatics at the Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands.[2]

Born in Haarlem, his family moved to Jakarta after the war. At the age of 11 he returned to the Netherlands on his own. After his study at the University of Amsterdam he worked at the Mathematisch Centrum (MC) in Amsterdam under Adriaan van Wijngaarden.[3]

There he was one of the editors of the original Report on the Algorithmic Language ALGOL 68,[4] being responsible for the design of ALGOL 68's transput.

He became involved with developing international standards in programming and informatics, as a member of the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP) IFIP Working Group 2.1 on Algorithmic Languages and Calculi,[5] which specified, maintains, and supports the programming languages ALGOL 60 and 68.[6]

He is the creator of the original Compiler Description Language (CDL), and of affix grammars, which are a variant of Van Wijngaarden grammars. In a sense, CDL is a deterministic executable affix grammar, while Prolog is a non-deterministic executable affix grammar; a link acknowledged by the implementors of the original Prolog interpreter.

In 1972, he moved to Berlin to initiate an informatics course at the Technical University of Berlin. In 1977, he became the first Professor of Informatics at the Radboud University Nijmegen. In 2013, he died in a motorcycle accident.[3]


  1. ^ Date information sourced from Library of Congress Authorities data, via corresponding WorldCat Identities linked authority file (LAF).
  2. ^ "In memoriam Kees Koster - Faculty of Science - Institute for Computing and Information Sciences". Retrieved 2013-04-03.
  3. ^ a b de Waard, Peter (2003-04-16). "Kees Koster 1943-2013]". De Volkskrant (in Dutch).
  4. ^ van Wijngaarden, Adriaan; Mailloux, Barry James; Peck, John Edward Lancelot; Koster, Cornelis Hermanus Antonius; Sintzoff, Michel [in French]; Lindsey, Charles Hodgson; Meertens, Lambert Guillaume Louis Théodore; Fisker, Richard G., eds. (1976). Revised Report on the Algorithmic Language ALGOL 68 (PDF). Springer-Verlag. ISBN 978-0-387-07592-1. OCLC 1991170. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2019-04-19. Retrieved 2019-05-11.
  5. ^ Jeuring, Johan; Meertens, Lambert; Guttmann, Walter (2016-08-17). "Profile of IFIP Working Group 2.1". Foswiki. Retrieved 2020-09-25.
  6. ^ Swierstra, Doaitse; Gibbons, Jeremy; Meertens, Lambert (2011-03-02). "ScopeEtc: IFIP21: Foswiki". Foswiki. Retrieved 2020-09-25.

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