Martin Odersky (born 5 September 1958) is a German[1] computer scientist and professor of programming methods at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland. He specializes in code analysis and programming languages. He designed the Scala programming language[2][3] and Generic Java (and Pizza before[4]) both with others. He implemented the GJ compiler,[5][6] and his implementation became the basis of javac, the Java compiler.[7] In 2007, he was inducted as a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery.

Martin Odersky
Mark Odersky photo by Linda Poeng.jpg
Born (1958-09-05) 5 September 1958 (age 61)
Alma materLudwig Maximilian University of Munich, ETH Zurich
Known forGeneric Java, Scala, MOOC
Scientific career
FieldsComputer languages

In 1989, he received his Ph.D. from ETH Zurich under the supervision of Niklaus Wirth, who is best known as the designer of several programming languages, including Pascal. He did postdoctoral work at IBM and Yale University.

On 12 May 2011, Odersky and collaborators launched Typesafe Inc. (renamed Lightbend Inc., February 2016 (2016-02)), a company to provide commercial support, training, and services for Scala,[3] and he currently serves as the chairman and chief architect.[8]

He teaches two courses on the Coursera online learning platform: Functional Programming Principles in Scala and Functional Program Design in Scala.[9][10]


  1. ^ "Biographical notice on EPFL website". Retrieved 28 May 2016.
  2. ^ "Artima Weblogs". EPFL. 2006. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  3. ^ a b Peter Delevett (16 May 2011). "Cloud computing pioneer Martin Odersky takes wraps off his new company Typesafe". San Jose-Mercury News. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  4. ^ Venners, Bill; Eckel, Bruce (26 January 2004). "Generics in C#, Java, and C++: A Conversation with Anders Hejlsberg, Part VII". Artima, Inc. Artima, Inc. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
  5. ^ "Preface to the Third Edition Java Language Specification Book". Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  6. ^ Naftalin, Maurice; Wadler, Philip (2007). Preface to the Java Generics and Collections Book. ISBN 9780596527754. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  7. ^ "Biographical notice on Coursera website". Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  8. ^ "Company Leadership". Lightbend. Lightbend. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
  9. ^ "Functional Programming Principles in Scala". Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  10. ^ "Functional Program Design in Scala". Retrieved 28 September 2016.

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