Notable for his key role in the development of software engineering principles and practices, he was the mastermind behind the Structured Design approach to systems analysis and programming.
After studying psychology and information systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he trained as a family therapist and subsequently worked for M.I.T.'s Nuclear Science Laboratory.
He taught psychiatry and human development at Tufts University and went on to become an Information Technology, engineering, and mathematics professor at the University of Madeira Portugal. An author of thrillers and science fiction novels, he is particularly known for his work Chipset, which was shortlisted in 2014 for the Eric Hoffer Award.
A native of Anoka, Minnesota, he later lived and worked in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Australia, and Portugal.
He and entrepreneur Alan Cooper both made important contributions to the field of software engineering.