Adriaan van Wijngaarden is considered the founding father of computer science in the Netherlands. He was particularly devoted to the mathematical aspects of computer applications.
Van Wijngaarden studied mechanical engineering at the TU Delft, was fascinated by the new idea of machine computing and founded a computer department at the Mathematical Center in Amsterdam in 1947. After stays in England and the United States, he developed the first Dutch computer, ARRA I. He then focused on programming language research, participated in the design of ALGOL, and developed the van Wijngaarden grammar.
The computer scientist was an internationally sought-after visiting professor, received a number of awards. Among others, he was a Knight of the Order of the Lion of the Netherlands, a recipient of the Silver Core of the International Federation for Information Processing, and was awarded honorary doctorates by the TUs of Grenoble and Delft. Every five years, the CWI presents the van Wijngaarden Award.