In memoriam: German Puebla

Most of you should know that Germán Puebla, whom many of we knew personally, passed away in September 2014 after a years-long struggle with a fatal illness.  It is not easy to write these words, as we both knew him since more than twenty years ago, when he joined the Clip group at UPM, lead by M. Hermenegildo, approximately at the same time as Manuel Carro did.


Germán had most, if not all, the attributes one can look for in a researcher: not only he was a hard-worker who spent all the necessary time to meet the highest standards (and his were certainly high), but he was also born with a gift for organization and team working and a passion for leading.  But he was also the first to enjoy quality time with his family, friends and co-workers, and never the first to go back to home (or, if that is the case, to the hotel room) when it was time for a celebration.

We are sure many of you have fond memories of him.  We would like to share just one.  During ICLP 1995 in Japan, Germán shared a room with Manuel Carro in a residence close to the convention center where the conference was being held.  He liked very much the yukata that was available at the room, and wanted to take it home.  So, with the determination that characterized him, he went to talk with the manager to ask whether the yukata could be bought.  Fighting with the astonishment of the manager, and the little English that the manager had, Germán convinced him to let us take a yukata each home after paying what seemed to be a fair price for replacing it.  This, we think, shows two traits Germán had: perseverance until the end to achieve the goals he had set himself, and being convinced that every movement or action should be fair for all players.

Germán’s work ranged over a series of topics, from partial evaluation and static analysis of logic programs to automatic complexity analysis of object-oriented languages and analysis of concurrent object-oriented languages.

He is survived by his parents and his wife, Elvira Albert, a very well known researcher herself, and her daughter, Sofía, still in elementary school.  May his soul rest in peace.


Manuel C. and Manuel H.

A personal remark by the Editors. Even if we knew personally him only for some coffe-break or social dinner chats we remember his kindness, congeniality, and solar attitude. He told us of his cancer in very natural terms and we were really shocked by the sad news of his death. We would like to express our condolences to Elvira. The comments to this sad post are left intentionally open to everyone.

The picture below was shot in an English bus in Manchester 1998 (Joint ICLP, ILPS, LOPSTR).


2 comments for “In memoriam: German Puebla

  1. April 10, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    I was Germán’s classmate at the Computer Science School in the Politechnic University of Madrid. Another friend and I were for him the “gallegos”. In 1992 our class group made a fantastic travel for visiting CeBIT fair at Hannover. Germán became activelly involved in the organization and the travel eventually became a complete tour including visits to Amsterdam, Bruges, and Paris. Germán and other “colchoneros”, supporters of Atlético de Madrid, even took the opportunity to go to a football match of their team against Bruges KV.

    That travel was for me a unique experience. It was the first time I visited foreign countries (apart from our “brother” country, Portugal). I remember that Germán acted as a real guide and it was surprising how, with the same age than all of us, he really looked like so experienced, self confident and at a same time, optimistic and positive. He really opened my mind and became an inspiration.

    After finishig our Computer Science career, I returned to Coruña. After some time, both of us eventually became interested in research in Logic Programming, but I never had the opportunity to meet him in any event after that. It is a real loss of an unforgettable person.

  2. April 12, 2015 at 11:10 am

    Dear German,

    thanks for your friendship and kindness.
    Thanks for your example in being dedicated to your work and family.

    … thanks for telling me why often Spanish people tend to
    pronounce an extra “e” when they have to say words starting with sp… or st…
    Indeed, they tend to say “Espain” instead of Spain” and
    “finite estate machine ” instead of “finite state machine”.

    Alberto (Pettorossi)

    P.S.The Lord of Light and Life and the Virgin Mary of Fatima had welcome you.
    Peace to all!

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