Bertrand Meyer

Bertrand Meyer
Born (1950-11-21) November 21, 1950
Nationality French
Alma mater
Occupation Professor
Employer ETH Zürich
Known for Eiffel, design by contract

Bertrand Meyer (/ˈmaɪər/; French: [mɛjɛʁ]; born 21 November 1950) is a French academic, author, and consultant in the field of computer languages. He created the Eiffel programming language and the idea of design by contract.

Education and academic career

Bertrand Meyer received a master degree in engineering from the École Polytechnique in Paris, a second master's degree from Stanford University, and a PhD from the Université de Nancy. He had a technical and managerial career for nine years at Électricité de France, and for three years was on the faculty at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Since October 2001, he has been Professor of Software Engineering at ETH Zürich, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, where he pursues research on building trusted components (reusable software elements) with a guaranteed level of quality.

His other activities include being adjunct professor at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia (1998–2003) and membership of the French Academy of Technologies. He is also active as a consultant (object-oriented system design, architectural reviews, technology assessment), trainer in object technology and other software topics, and conference speaker. As former head of the ETH Computer Science department, he is one of the founders and the current president of Informatics Europe, the association of European computer science departments.

Computer languages

Meyer pursues the ideal of simple, elegant and user-friendly computer languages and is one of the earliest and most vocal proponents of object-oriented programming (OOP). His book Object-Oriented Software Construction is widely considered to be the best work on presenting the case for OOP.[1] Other books he has written include Eiffel: The Language (a description of the Eiffel language), Object Success (a discussion of object technology for managers), Reusable Software (a discussion of reuse issues and solutions), Introduction to the Theory of Programming Languages and Touch of Class. He has authored numerous articles and edited conference proceedings.

He is the initial designer of the Eiffel method and language and has continued to participate in its evolution, and is the originator of the Design by Contract development method .

His experiences with object technology through the Simula language, as well as early work on abstract data types and formal specification (including the Z notation), provided some of the background for the development of Eiffel. Eiffel has been influential in the development of other languages including Java, C# and Python.


In 2005, Meyer was the "senior award" winner of the first AITO Dahl-Nygaard award. This prize, named after the two creators of object technology, is awarded annually to a senior and a junior researchers who have made significant technical contributions to the field of Object Orientation.[2]

In 2006, Meyer was recognized as honorary doctor of Saint Petersburg State University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics.

On 9 June 2007, Meyer received the Software System Award of the ACM for "impact on software quality" in recognition of the design of Eiffel.[3] He is a 2008 Fellow of the ACM.

Wikipedia hoax

On 28 December 2005, an anonymous user falsely announced Meyer's death on German Wikipedia's biography of Meyer. The hoax was reported five days later by the Heise News Ticker and the article was immediately corrected. Many major news media outlets in Germany and Switzerland picked up the story, creating the German Wikipedia's version of the Seigenthaler incident. Meyer went on to publish a positive evaluation of Wikipedia,[4] concluding "The system succumbed to one of its potential flaws, and quickly healed itself. This doesn't affect the big picture. Just like those about me, rumors about Wikipedia's downfall have been grossly exaggerated."

See also


  1. "Object Oriented Software Construction, 2nd Edition" — a review of the book
  2. "The AITO Dahl-Nygaard Prize Winners For 2005" — AITO press release
  3. Scientist to receive ACM award for development Eiffel computer language: ACM Press release, 29 March 2007, at .
  4. Bertrand Meyer: Defense and Illustration of Wikipedia, at

External links

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