Arto Salomaa

Arto Salomaa

Arto Salomaa in 2005.
Born (1934-06-06) 6 June 1934
Turku, Finland
Nationality Finnish
Fields Mathematics
Computer science
Institutions Turun Yliopisto
Alma mater Turun Yliopisto
Doctoral advisor Kustaa Inkeri
Doctoral students Neil Jones
Juhani Karhumäki
Jarkko Kari
Lila Kari
Mogens Nielsen
Sven Skyum
Paul Vitanyi

Arto K. Salomaa (born 6 June 1934) is a Finnish mathematician and computer scientist. His research career, which spans over forty years, is focused on formal languages and automata theory.

Early life and education

Salomaa was born in Turku, Finland on June 6, 1934. He earned a Bachelor's degree from University of Turku in 1954 and a PhD from the same university in 1960. Salomaa's father was a professor of philosophy at the University of Turku.[1] Salomaa was introduced to the theory of automata and formal languages during seminars at Berkeley given by John Myhill in 1957.[2]


In 1965, Salomaa became a professor of mathematics at the University of Turku, a position he retired from in 1999. He also spent two years in the late 1960s at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada, and two years in the 1970s at the University of Aarhus in Aarhus, Denmark.[1][3]

Salomaa was president of the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science from 1979 until 1985.[4]


Salomaa has authored or co-authored 46 textbooks, including "Theory of Automata" (1969), "Formal Languages" (1973), "The Mathematical Theory of L-Systems" (1980, with Grzegorz Rozenberg), "Jewels of Formal Language Theory" (1981) "Public-Key Cryptography" (1990) and "DNA Computing" (1998, with Grzegorz Rozenberg and Gheorghe Paun). With Rozenberg, Salomaa edited "Handbook of Formal Languages" (1997), a 3-volume, 2000-page reference on formal language theory.[5] These books have often become standard references in their respective areas. For example, "Formal Languages" was reported in 1991 to be among the 100 most cited texts in mathematics.[1]

Salomaa has also published over 400 articles in scientific journals during his professional career. He has authored also non-scientific articles such as "What computer scientists should know about sauna".[6] After his retirement, Arto Salomaa has published almost another 100 scientific articles.

Awards and recognition

Salomaa has been awarded the title of Academician by the Academy of Finland,[7] one of twelve living Finnish individuals awarded the title. He also received the EATCS Award in 2004.[8] Salomaa has received seven honorary degrees.[8] On June 13, 2013, Salomaa was awarded an Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Western Ontario.[9]

Personal life

Salomaa married in 1959.[10] He has two children, Kirsti and Kai,[10] the latter of whom is a professor of Computer Science at Queen's University and also works in the field of formal languages and automata theory.[11]


  1. 1 2 3 Karhumäki, J. (1991). "A short biography of Arto Salomaa". Information and Computation. 151: 2–4. doi:10.1006/inco.1998.2760.
  2. Salomaa, A. (2004). "Myhill, Turku and Sauna Poetry: Recollections arising from the EATCS Award". Bulletin of the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science. 84: 12–15.
  3. Salomaa, A. (1999), "Events and Languages", in Calude, C. S., People and Ideas in Theoretical Computer Science, Springer, pp. 253–273.
  4. Brauer, Ute; Brauer, Wilfried (1997). "Silver Jubilee of EATCS". EATCS. Archived from the original on October 10, 2009. Retrieved November 24, 2013.
  5. Infante-Lopez, Gabriel (2005). "Review of Handbook of Formal Languages by Grzegorz Rozenberg and Arto Salomaa". Journal of Logic, Language, and Information. 14 (4): 457–466. JSTOR 40180402.
  6. Salomaa, A. (1981). "What computer scientists should know about sauna". Bulletin of the European Association of Theoretical Computer Science. 15: 8–21.
  7. Academy of Finland, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-03-29. Retrieved 2014-06-02..
  8. 1 2 van Leeuwen, Jan (2004), "The distinguished achievement award: EATCS Award 2004", Bulletin of the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science, 84: 10–11
  9. Arto Salomaa to Receive Honorary DSc Degree, Computer Science Department, University of Western Ontario, May 10, 2013, archived from the original on June 7, 2013.
  10. 1 2 Salomaa, Arto, Curriculum Vitae, retrieved 2014-04-21.
  11. "Kai T. Salomaa". Queen's University. Archived from the original on April 21, 2014. Retrieved April 21, 2014.

External links

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