In memoriam: Francisco Bueno

By Manuel Carro, María García de la Banda, Manuel Hermenegildo, Pedro López, José F. Morales

It is with the deepest sorrow that we write these lines to share with you the news of the passing away of our very dear friend and colleague Francisco (“Paco”) Bueno.

Paco was a professor of logic in the Technical University of Madrid (UPM) and was one of the founding members in the early 90’s of our research group at UPM. This started a very fruitful academic career, with over 50 research publications, written with 34 different co-authors from many other countries and institutions, which clearly illustrates the breadth of his interests and his permanent openness to collaboration.

He did ground-breaking work in program analysis using abstract Interpretation, and in its application to automatic program parallelization. He made major contributions in extending abstract interpretation-based analyses, and in particular the PLAI “top-down” analysis algorithm, for scalability and to cover the full semantics of real, practical languages, such as Prolog. He helped develop, extend and benchmark scalable analyses for many important program properties, such as variable (pointer) aliasing, freeness, parametric types, sized types, determinacy, non-failure, and resource/energy consumption analysis. In addition, he was one of the main contributors to the development of the Ciao system and, in particular, of its combined static/dynamic approach to program verification and debugging, a predecessor of the currently popular gradual typing approaches. He also worked on many other theoretical and practical subjects, ranging from true concurrency semantics for CC, to agents or text mining.

In addition, Paco was a wonderful (and very original) educator, consistently highly regarded by his students. As a sample, at the end of the course he was teaching this year, and after hearing the news of his passing away, we received many spontaneous messages from his students praising his education skills and telling us what a fantastic teacher he was.

However, even if his academic contributions are outstanding, it is his character and human qualities that we will miss the most. Paco was a unique, good-natured, and truly wonderful person with a great (and very special) sense of humour. He was sharp, extremely knowledgeable, always keen to create, and always ready to help. And for many of us, above all he was a fantastic and dear friend. It is extremely hard to teach the courses we used to share with him, edit code that still has his comments, work on papers where he could have contributed, or simply come to the department and know he is not there. Paco still had so much to give and to enjoy from life. We miss him deeply.

In truly loving memory of a great researcher and an even better friend.  Rest in peace Paco.

Manuel Carro
María García de la Banda
Manuel Hermenegildo
Pedro López
José F. Morales