Prof. David Harel is currently President of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, and has been on the faculty of the Weizmann Institute of Science since 1980, serving as Department Head from 1989 to 1995, and Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science between 1998 and 2004. He is a co-founder of I-Logix, Inc., which later became part of IBM. He received his PhD from MIT in 1978, and spent two years at IBM's Yorktown Heights research center, and sabbatical years at Carnegie-Mellon University, Cornell University and the University of Edinburgh.
He has worked in several areas of theoretical computer science, including computability theory, logics of programs, database theory, and automata theory. Over the years he became involved in software and systems engineering, visual languages, layout of diagrams, modeling and analysis of biological systems, the synthesis and communication of smell and the analysis of prosody. He is the inventor of the language of Statecharts and co-inventor of Live Sequence Charts (LSCs), and was part of the team that designed the tools Statemate, Rhapsody, the Play-Engine and PlayGo.
He has delivered a lecture series on Israeli radio and has hosted a series of programs on Israeli television. Some of his expository writings include Computers Ltd.: What They Really Can't Do (2000, 2012), and Algorithmics: The Spirit of Computing (1987, 1992, 2003, 2012), which was the Spring 1988 Main Selection of the Macmillan Library of Science.
Harel has received many awards, including the ACM Outstanding Educator Award, the Israel Prize, the ACM Software System Award, the Emet Prize, and five honorary degrees in France, Italy, the Netherlands and Israel. He is a Fellow of the ACM, the IEEE, the AAAS and the EATCS, and is a member of the Academia Europaea and the Israel Academy of Sciences. He is an international member of the US National Academy of Sciences, the US National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS). He is also an ardent peace and human rights activist, and his main hobbies are photography and music.