David Harel is a computer scientist who has worked in logic, computability, software engineering, biological modeling and olfaction. He invented Statecharts and co-invented Live Sequence Charts (LSCs), and co-designed the Statemate, Rhapsody, Play-Engine and PlayGo tools. He has devoted time to exposition, and some of his writing is aimed at a broad audience (e.g., Computers Ltd.: What They Really Can’t Do and Algorithmics: The Spirit of Computing). Born in England, he moved to Israel with his family as a child, where he received his BSc and MSc. His PhD is from MIT and his postdoc from IBM research in Yorktown Heights. He has been on the faculty of the Weizmann Institute since 1980, and was Dean there from 1998 to 2004. His awards include the ACM Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award, the Israel Prize and the ACM Software System Award. He has received five honorary degrees, is a Fellow of the ACM, IEEE, AAAS and EATCS, and is a member of the Academia Europaea and a foreign member of the National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Sciences. Since 2015, he has been Vice President of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.

Research Interests

David Harel's research group is currently involved in several areas of computer science and its applications. A central theme revolves around developing languages, methods and tools for describing and analyzing the behavior of complex systems of various kinds. These include mainly computerized systems and biological systems, so that much of his work is in software and systems engineering, and in biological modeling and analysis. More recently, he has become interested also in the dynamic processes arising from artwork, music and speech (prosody). He is also interested in the synthesis and communication of smell.

Membership Type

International Member

Election Year


Primary Section

Section 34: Computer and Information Sciences

Secondary Section

Section 29: Biophysics and Computational Biology