Joseph Goguen

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Joseph A. Goguen
Joseph Goguen in 2004
Born (1941-06-28)28 June 1941
Died 3 July 2006(2006-07-03)
San Diego, USA
Nationality USA
Fields Computer Science
Institutions University of California, Berkeley
University of Chicago
IBM Research
University of California, Los Angeles
SRI International
Oxford University
University of California, San Diego
Alma mater Harvard University
University of California, Berkeley
Doctoral advisor Lotfi Zadeh
Known for Software Engineering
Formal specification
Algebraic semantics
Goguen categories
Consciousness studies

Joseph Amadee Goguen (28 June 1941 – 3 July 2006) was an American computer scientist. He was professor of Computer Science at the University of California and Oxford University and held research positions at IBM and SRI International.

Goguen's work was one of the earliest approaches to the algebraic characterization of abstract data types and he originated and helped develop the OBJ family of programming languages.[1][2] He was author of A Categorical Manifesto and founder[3] and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Consciousness Studies. His development of institution theory impacted the field of universal logic.[4][5] Standard implication in product fuzzy logic is often called "Goguen implication".[6] "Goguen categories" are named after him.[7] [8]

Education and academic career[edit]

Goguen received his Bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University in 1963, and his PhD in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1968, where he was a student of the founder of fuzzy set theory Lotfi Zadeh.[9]

He taught at UC Berkeley, the University of Chicago and University of California, Los Angeles, where he was a full professor of computer science.[9][10][11] He held a Research Fellowship in the Mathematical Sciences at the IBM Watson Research Center, where he organized the "ADJ" group.[10] He also visited the University of Edinburgh in Scotland on three Senior Visiting Fellowships.[3]

From 1979 to 1988, Goguen worked at SRI International in Menlo Park, California. From 1988 to 1996, he was a professor at the Oxford University Computing Laboratory (now the Oxford University Department of Computer Science) in England and a Fellow at St Anne's College, Oxford.[9] In 1996 he became professor of Computer Science at the University of California, San Diego.[9]

Research areas[edit]

Goguen's research interests included category theory (a branch of mathematics), software engineering, fuzzy logic, algebraic semantics, user interface design, algebraic semiotics, and the social and ethical aspects of science and technology.

Lotfi Zadeh viewed Goguen's 1968 approach to “The Logic of Inexact Concepts” as seminal in the field of fuzzy logic.[9] Goguen's PhD dissertation "Categories of fuzzy sets"[12] was the first work to apply category theory to fuzzy logic, and led to "Goguen categories" named after him.[7][8]

Goguen's research in the 1970s was one of the earliest approaches to the characterization of computational automata from a categorical perspective.[1] Goguen's research with Thatcher, Wagner and Wright (also in the 1970s) was one of the earliest works to formalise the algebraic basis for data abstraction.[2]

In the early 1990s Goguen and Burstall developed the theory of institutions, a category-theoretic description of logical systems in computer science.[13] Institution theory impacted the development of universal logic and became one of its most studied aspects.[14] The term "Carnapian Goguenism" is used to refer to the application of institutions to ontologies.[15]

Goguen also studied the philosophy of computation and information, formal methods (especially hidden algebra and theorem proving), and relational and functional programming. He wrote a retrospective of his work and its context, Tossing Algebraic Flowers Down the Great Divide.[16]

Personal views[edit]

Goguen was a practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism. Specifically, since the early 1970s he was a student of Chögyam Trungpa and, after his death in 1986, of his son Sakyong Mipham.[3] During the late 1970s and early 1980s, he was a faculty member of the science program at the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado.


  • Goguen, Joseph A., "Algebraic Semantics of Imperative Programs" ISBN 978-0262071727 MIT Press 1996
  • Goguen, Joseph A., Malcolm, Grant "Software Engineering with OBJ" ISBN 978-1441949653 Springer 2000
  • Kokichi Futatsugi et al. "Algebra, Meaning, and Computation: Essays dedicated to Joseph A. Goguen" ISBN 978-3540354628 Springer 2006

Selected Publications[edit]

  • Goguen, J.A., "L-fuzzy sets". Journal of Mathematical Analysis and Applications 18(1):145–174, 1967.
  • Goguen, J.A., "The logic of inexact concepts". Synthese 19(3/4):325–373, 1969.
  • Goguen, J.A., and J. Thatcher. "Initial algebra semantics". In Proceedings,Fifteenth Symposium on Switching and Automata Theory, pages 63{77. IEEE,1974.
  • Goguen, J.A., J. Thatcher, and E. Wagner. "An initial algebra approach to the specication, correctness and implementation of abstract data types". In Raymond Yeh, editor, Current Trends in Programming Methodology, IV, pages 80–149. Prentice Hall, 1978.
  • Goguen, J.A., A Categorical Manifesto. Mathematical Structures in Computer Science, 1(1):49–67, 1991.
  • Goguen, J.A. (editor), Art and the Brain. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 6(6/7), June/July 1999.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Bart Jacobs "A Bialgebraic Review of Regular Expressions,Deterministic Automata and Languages" in "Algebra, Meaning, and Computation" ISBN 978-3540354628 Springer 2006 pp 375
  2. ^ a b V. S. Alagar "Specification of Software Systems" ISBN 978-0387984308 Springer 1999 pp 216
  3. ^ a b c Burstall R.: My friend Joseph Goguen. In K. Futatsugi et al. (Eds.): Goguen Festschrift, Springer-Verlag, Lecture Notes in Computer Science 4060:25–30, 2006.
  4. ^ Razvan Diaconescu, "Three decades of institution theory" in Universal Logic: An Anthology edited by Jean-Yves Béziau 2012 Springer ISBN 978-3-0346-0144-3 pp 309-322
  5. ^ T. Mossakowski, J. A. Goguen, R. Diaconescu, A. Tarlecki, "What is a Logic?", '. In Jean-Yves Beziau (Ed.), Logica Universalis: Towards a General Theory of Logic, pp. 113–133. Birkhäuser, Basel, 2005, 2nd Edition 2007.
  6. ^ Hájek P.: Metamathematics of Fuzzy Logic. Kluwer, Dordrecht, 1998, sect. 2.1. ISBN 0-7923-5238-6.
  7. ^ a b Michael Winter "Goguen Categories:A Categorical Approach to L-fuzzy Relations" 2007 Springer ISBN 9781402061639
  8. ^ a b Michael Winter "Representation theory of Goguen categories" Fuzzy Sets and Systems Volume 138, Issue 1, 16 August 2003, Pages 85–126
  9. ^ a b c d e Zadeh L.A.: Joseph Amadee Goguen (1941–2006)—A personal tribute. Fuzzy Sets and Systems 158:809–810, 2007. doi:10.1016/j.fss.2007.01.001
  10. ^ a b Goguen, J.A. "Memories of ADJ - Computer Science and Engineering" Bulletin of the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science, Number 36, October 1989 36:96-102
  11. ^ Goguen, Joseph (October 23, 2005). "Brief Biography of Joseph Goguen". University of California, San Diego, USA. Retrieved September 26, 2011. 
  12. ^ J. A. Goguen "Categories of fuzzy sets : applications of non-Cantorian set theory" PhD Thesis University of California, Berkeley, 1968
  13. ^ J. A. Goguen and R. M. Burstall, Institutions: Abstract Model Theory for Specification and Programming, Journal of the Association for Computing Machinery 39, pp. 95–146, 1992.
  14. ^ Răzvan Diaconesc, "From Universal Logic to Computer Science, and Back" in Theoretical Aspects of Computing – ICTAC 2014, Lecture Notes in Computer Science 8687 pp 1-16
  15. ^ Oliver Kutz, Till Mossakowski, Dominik Lücke "Carnap, Goguen, and the Hyperontologies" Logica Universalis 11/2010; 4(2):255-333
  16. ^ Goguen, J. A., Tossing Algebraic Flowers Down the Great Divide, University of California, San Diego, USA.

External links[edit]