Lawrence “Larry” Bernstein was a recognized expert in software technology, network architecture, network management software, software project management, and technology conversion. He taught graduate courses on computer networks and undergraduate courses on software engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ.
He was a member at large of the Board of Governors of the IEEE Communications Society, a member of the Software Engineering Program Advisory Board of the Naval Postgraduate School, the editor of the Thresholds column for the Journal of Network and Systems Management, a member of the Board of the Center for National Software Studies, and the director of the NJ Center for Software Engineering. In addition, he was the president of the Free Millburn Public Library, and was recognized by Essex County for participation in The Essex County Domestic Violence Courtwatch. He was also a member of the software steering committee for the NJ Technology Council.
He completed consulting assignments for companies in the area of software process improvement, was an expert witness in an arbitration case where he assessed the quality and origins of a large software system, and advised another company on the unreasonableness of their claims against another company.
He had a 35-year distinguished career at Bell Laboratories in managing large software projects. After retirement, he headed his own consulting firm. At Bell Labs, he became a chief technical officer of the Operations Systems business unit and an executive director. In parallel with these Bell Labs positions, he was the operations systems vice president of AT&T Network Systems from 1992 to 1996. He was a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery. He was also a member of the Russian Information Academy; a visiting associate of the University of Southern California's Center for Software Engineering; and an industrial fellow of the Ball State Center for Information and Communication Sciences. He was a member of the honor societies Tau Beta Pi and Eta Kappa Nu, and is listed in Who’s Who in America. He was awarded the coveted Bell South “Eagle” for seminal contributions to their automatic service provisioning systems.
Bernstein held eight software patents, gave numerous talks, and wrote dozens of articles on software engineering. The IEEE selected two of his articles for inclusion in best paper compendiums.
Bernstein conceived of the notion of software rejuvenation, encouraged work on studying the dynamic behavior of software, applied and extended software management techniques in the 1960s, and led the work on adopting intermediate-level languages in support of military software development. He led the development of store and forward message switching software, stabilizing a system that was out of control and about to be cancelled. He saw the need for advances in database management when he was the project manager of a large database system. The inventions that developed from this work laid the foundation for a system that manages 100 million accounts of telephone company customers. His work on project management reviews is taught at universities.
He served as a software category editor for Computing Reviews since 2006, and as a reviewer since 2005. During this time, he wrote over 60 reviews.
Sadly, Larry passed away in November after a long and heroic battle with cancer. We enjoyed working with him immensely, and he will be missed by the Computing Reviews community.