Paul Hudak, a longtime Yale University computer science professor and one of the creators of the Haskell programming language, died on April 29 at age 62 after a long battle with leukemia.
Hudak is known primarily for his research in the field of functional programming, designing Haskell as well as Haskore, the music composition language based on Haskell that ultimately became the Euterpea computer music development language embedded in Haskell. He joined Yale’s faculty in 1982 and served as chair of the Department of Computer Science from 1999 to 2005, helping to develop the “Computing and the Arts” interdepartmental major that combined the study of computing with art, history or theater.
“Paul was a real mensch. Despite all of his accomplishments in programming languages, music, sports, teaching and advising, he was very modest,” said Joan Feigenbaum, chair of the Department of Computer Science, in a Yale news release. “He was warm, generous, funny, and also supremely competent—everything that one could want in a colleague. The department will take a long time to recover from this loss.”
Hudak graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1973 with a B.S. in electrical engineering, subsequently gaining an M.S. in computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Utah. In 1985, Hudak won a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award, and in 2003 he was selected as an Association for Computing Machinery fellow.
He is survived by his wife, Cathy Van Dyke; their daughters, Cristina and Jennifer; granddaughter Aubrey; and siblings Clark Jr., David, Gregory, Daniel, and Elizabeth Hudak.