Harlan D. Mills (May 14, 1919 – January 8, 1996) was Professor of Computer Science at the Florida Institute of Technology and founder of Software Engineering Technology, Inc. of Vero Beach, Florida (since acquired by Q-Labs). Mills' contributions to software engineering have had a profound and enduring effect on education and industrial practice. Since earning his Ph.D. in Mathematics at Iowa State University in 1952, Mills led a distinguished career.
As an IBM research fellow, Mills adapted existing ideas from engineering and computer science to software development. These included automata theory, the structured programming theory of Edsger Dijkstra, Robert W. Floyd, and others, and Markov chain-driven software testing. His Cleanroom software development process emphasized top-down design and formal specification. Mills contributed his ideas to the profession in six books and over fifty refereed articles in technical journals.
Dr. Mills was termed a "super-programmer", a term which would evolve to the concept in IBM of a "Chief Programmer.
Born in Liberty Center, Iowa. As a young man, Mills studied art with Grant Wood. During World War II, Mills became a bomber pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corps. His skills in flying and teaching were such that rather than having him fly missions, the Army assigned him to train other pilots...
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