[FOM] Sad news: Kosta Dosen

Peter Schroeder-Heister psh at informatik.uni-tuebingen.de
Sun Oct 22 04:58:58 EDT 2017

Yesterday, 21 October 2017, our dear friend and colleague Kosta Dosen 
passed away; losing his long struggle with cancer. He is survived by his 
daughter Ana. The service and funeral will take place at the New 
Cemetery in Belgrade on 24 October 2017, 12:00 (noon).

Born 1954 in Belgrade (Serbia), Kosta Dosen graduated from the 
University of Belgrade in 1977 and received a doctorate from the 
University of Oxford in 1981. He became a professor at the Mathematical 
Institute Belgrade in 1982, was professor at the Department of Computer 
Science of the University of Toulouse (France) from 1994 to 1998, and 
held the Chair of Logic in the Philosophical Faculty of the University 
of Belgrade since 2003. He had visiting posts at universities including 
Notre Dame (USA), Montpellier (France) and Tuebingen (Germany).

Kosta Dosen's D.Phil. on "Logical Constants" was supervised by Michael 
Dummett and Dana Scott. As part of this, and in subsequent publications, 
he developed a proof-theoretic characterization of logical constants by 
means of so-called "double-line rules", which has become widely 
discussed since and is one of the major approaches in the debate on what 
logicality should mean. Working on the proof theory (and partly also 
model theory) of logics with restricted structural rules, he coined the 
term "substructural logic" at a conference in Tuebingen in 1990. 
However, the main topic of his intellectual life was the field of 
categorial proof theory that was opened up by Lambek, Lawvere and 
others. Kosta Dosen shaped the development of this field in many 
respects, in particular by his books on "Cut Elimination in Categories" 
and "Proof-Theoretical Coherence" (the latter together with Zoran 
Petric). He was a strong adherent and promotor of what Prawitz called 
"general proof theory", which is the study of proofs as objects in their 
own right rather than under the aspect of provability. This implied for 
him that the question of the identity of proofs was the central topic of 
general proof theory, where he was particularly interested in the 
relationship between normalization-based and generality-based 
approaches. In recent years he worked with great passion on Goedel's 
work including unpublished manuscripts in his Nachlass. A critical 
edition (together with Milos Adzic) of Goedel's Notre Dame course in 
logic has just appeared.

Kosta Dosen was a gifted and dedicated teacher, who  was an inspiration 
to students and colleagues alike. His explanations will live on in the 
pages of his textbook on elementary logic (in Serbian).

A further, and more thorough discussion of Kosta Dosen's achievements 
will be published at a later stage.

Kosta will be greatly missed by relatives, friends and colleagues, and 
all who had the good fortune to know him.

Prof. Peter Schroeder-Heister
Department of Computer Science
University of Tuebingen
Sand 13
72076 Tuebingen
e-mail: psh at uni-tuebingen.de

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