Jan L. A. van de Snepscheut

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Jan L. A. van de Snepscheut
Born(1953-09-12)September 12, 1953
DiedFebruary 23, 1994(1994-02-23) (aged 40)
Alma materEindhoven University
Scientific career
FieldsComputer science
InstitutionsEindhoven University, Groningen University, Caltech
Doctoral studentsPeter Hofstee

Johannes Lambertus Adriana van de Snepscheut (Dutch: [ˈsnɛpsxøːt]; 12 September 1953 – 23 February 1994) was a computer scientist and educator. He was a student of Martin Rem and Edsger Dijkstra.[1] At the time of his death he was the executive officer of the computer science department at the California Institute of Technology. [2] He was also developing an editor for proving theorems called "Proxac".[3]

In the early morning hours of February 23, 1994, van de Snepscheut attacked his sleeping wife, Terre, with an axe. He then set their house on fire, and died as it burned around him. Terre and their three children escaped their burning home.[2]


  • Jan L. A. Van De Snepscheut, Gerrit A. Slavenburg, Introducing the notion of processes to hardware, ACM SIGARCH Computer Architecture News, April 1979.
  • Jan L. A. Van De Snepscheut, Trace Theory and VLSI Design,, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Volume 200, Springer, 1985.
  • Jan L. A. Van De Snepscheut, What computing is all about. Springer, 1993.[4]


  1. ^ Dijkstra, Edsger W. (April 25, 1994). "In Memoriam Jan L. A. van de Snepscheut (EWD1177)". Retrieved May 21, 2012.
  2. ^ a b Carlson, Mike (February 24, 1994). "Caltech Professor Dies After Attacking Wife, Setting House Ablaze : Violence: Daughter says she saw her father lighting matches as family escaped the fire. Motive is unknown". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
  3. ^ van de Snepscheut, Jan L.A. (1993). "Proxac: an editor for program transformation". Caltech Computer Science Technical Reports. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  4. ^ Van de Snepscheut's Ph.D. thesis, entirely handwritten, including the index.

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