Mats Bengtsson, the founder of Coccinella, passed away on November 29, 2008. He was born in 1959 and had a very successful career in academics and specifically in his field of interest, theoretical physics. Early in school he distinguished himself particularly in mathematics and he even produced his own math books in primary school when his teachers were not able to help him further on. He graduated at Lund university as an engineer, continued as a research student in theoretical physics and presented his doctoral thesis, ”Parton showers in a phenomenological context”, at the age of 28 years. He spent a post-doc period in Germany (Aachen), but previously he had also been at the Cern laboratory.
After his exams he started to work at ABB for a short period of time, before he ended up in Linköping where he received a research position at FOI, the Swedish Defence Research Agency. In Linköping he and his partner Mari stayed for quite a few years. During his entire life Mats had several hobbies such as gliding and model railroading. Unfortunately, Mats was struck by a chronic condition during the last 15 years of his life, but was able to work hard in periods on his special project, the Coccinella program which is an interactive communicative Internet program. He initiated and developed this computer program and released it as open-source on the Net so others may contribute to the program’s development and refinement over time. Hopefully Coccinella will remain and be continuously upgraded in Mats’ spirit and visions.
By Mari Lundberg, Mats girlfriend
Coccinella 0.96.12 *will* be released on March 18, 2009. However, this release will not introduce many changes because Mats was the driving force of the Coccinella project. Therefore, I will blog over the next few months about interesting projects and challenging features that Mats had on his TODO list. Hopefully, this will interest you to build further on the shoulders of a giant!