After my education I was appointed as a teacher ("universitair docent") in Computing Science at Eindhoven University of Technology, in August 1984. For most of the time I was a member of the Mathematics of Program Construction group, with professor Backhouse as section leader. My task was to develop and teach courses in Computing Science, and do research on mathematics of program construction. From 1995 to 1997 the faculty was forced to economize, so it faced a radical reorganization. This period was an unpleasant time, with many uncertainties, and it dragged on for much too long. I started looking for a new job.
I found one as a course team leader at the Open University, the Dutch university for distance education. I was stationed in Heerlen, in the far south of the Netherlands, spring 1997. Soon I moved to Heerlen, but for personal reasons moved back to Eindhoven again in 1999. In spring 2001 I moved once again for personal reasons, but this time I could not keep on combining my new home town of Woerden with my work in Heerlen. A new challenge was offered by my present employer, the HR Solutions division (Payroll and HRM) of Getronics, in Amersfoort, which in 2003 became an independent company by the name of Raet bv.
My first task at the Open University was the revision of a course about digital electronics and microprocessors, as a course team leader and co-author. After its completion it was termed "De werking van computersystemen" (T16131), which is still in use today.
In the fall of 1997 I co-authored on the revision of a course about procedural programming, turning it into an introductory course in object oriented programming, using Symantec Visual Café and the programming language Java. The new course, called "Visueel Programmeren met Java" (T25141), turned out to be a best-seller: about 1000 copies sold in one year! Later on I did some support for it, mostly on the OU Java Internet site and the OU educational platform. In 1998 I also participated in writing the sequel to the course: Object oriented programming with Java.
In spring 1998, I started the educational research project Electronic Course Book, doing preliminary research, leading a group of eight peers in the first half year. Our goal was to investigate the possibilities of true electronic hypermedia courses for the Open University. Together with Koos Baas, and later with four colleagues I did several subprojects on this theme, improving the concept and refining it, and trying it out for several target groups. The project has effectively been terminated on my departure of the OU, however the results are still being used in several courses. The web site is still present, but dormant.
In the fall of 2000 my proposal for turning the course Interactive Multimedia (T31121) into a web course, was elected as one of six pilots to demonstrate the power of EML, the Educational Modelling Language of the Open University (International standard from December 2000). The project was successfully completed in April 2001, however the web course never became operational, due to software problems with the EML player, being developed by the Open University.
In the company of Raet I joined the eBusiness unit, later called eProducts, in the department of Delivery Management, being appointed as information architect, at times in the role of project leader. My main responsibility was the development and expansion of the Raet Business-to-Business web portal Intracom (extranet), a platform for payroll data exchange and human resources support. Among a long list of projects (partly or entirely) under my supervision were the following.
I am interested in the following subjects:
I believe concise and precise specifications of programs are indispensable, and of course all software should be documented properly. Personally I like a calculational style of deriving programs, rather than proving a program, found by trial and error, correct afterwards. Or even worse: writing sloppy programs, expecting them to become reliable by testing only. Abstraction is a valuable tool to achieve the necessary scaling-up from programming-in-the-small to programming-in-the-large. Object Oriented Programming is definitely an important vehicle in this respect.
I would like to mention here a number of papers written by yours truly alone, or, if so indicated, in cooperation with colleagues.
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Last updated May 31st, 2006