<- Dahl-Childhood and youth

Childhood and youth


Ole-Johan Dahl was born on 12 October 1931 in Mandal, a little town on the south coast of Norway. Most of the economic and cultural activities in the area were centred around the sea and ships. His father and male relatives on both sides were captains with long traditions going back to the sailing vessels which travelled all over the world. He was his parents’ first born and his father wanted to make a real seaman out of him. His expectations and hopes were not, however, fulfilled. Ole-Johan Dahl was a quiet boy who enjoyed playing the piano and reading books about mathematics and general knowledge but was less interested in sports and athletics.
His mother was an intelligent woman but with little formal education who stayed at home as a housewife. Neither of his parents nor his sister and brother had a university education or intellectual interests. In this respect Ole-Johan Dahl was an exception.


Dahl was talented both musically and intellectually, especially with regard to mathematics. Although he played the piano very well he was very conscious of the fact that he would never make music his profession. It was very important for him to deal with music in a personal and private way. He was certain that if music became his professional career, it would lose its flavour and importance in his life. Therefore, in the light of his outstanding intellectual talents and engagements, it was obvious that he had to choose an academic career, with mathematics as the main subject. This is one way in which he differs from Dijkstra and Nygaard because his career seemed to be more predetermined.

[Source: People behind Informatics, Laszlo Böszörmenyi and Stefan Podlipnig]


<- Dahl-Childhood and youth

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