In Memoriam: Ramon Otero

Dear Colleagues,

as many of you already know, Professor Ramon P. Otero, from the University of Corunna (Spain) has suddenly passed away on April 1st, 2019.

Ramón had an intense academic life, with expertise and interests in different areas of Computer Science. Trained as a physicist, he became interested in Artificial Intelligence, developing his PhD under the supervision of José Mira, one of the pioneers of AI in Spain. In the 1990s, he founded the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in Corunna, creating there a vibrant environment from scratch that led to several theses on AI and Logic Programming and a fluent collaboration with recognized researchers. In a pair of stays as a visiting professor, first in Las Cruces, New Mexico (1995) and later on nearby in El Paso, Texas (2000), Ramón initiated a strong relationship with the Answer Set Programming community in America. He became especially interested in the relation between causality and logic programming semantics, but later on, he gradually moved towards Inductive Logic Programming, a field where he published seminal results on induction of stable models and learning in action theories. In 2006, he co-chaired the ILP conference at Santiago de Compostela, Spain. His last years were marked by a retirement from public academic activities, disappointed since his full professorship were rejected on flimsy legal basis. 

His family (Brais, Cristina and María) thanks for all the condolences received. Ramon showed them how to make work become a passion. We will all miss Ramon’s competence, curiosity and courage in starting new research subjects, often the first in his country to do so. Everywhere he went, he left an indelible footprint.

Rest in Peace.
Pedro Cabalar and Alessandro Provetti