The two-day symposium Salodays in Auckland has been organized in honour of Professor Arto Salomaa, who visited Auckland University from February 16 to March 4 1994. A book devoted to the proceedings of this symposium has been edited by Cristian Calude, Mike Lennon, Hermann Maurer.
Professor Arto Salomaa is celebrating his 60th birthday in 1994. One would think that this is a time where someone as famous as Professor Salomaa, having influenced and contributed to theoretical computer science world wide more than anyone one can think of, might want to start taking things a bit slower.
Well, such ideas are not for Professor Salomaa. He keeps coming up with brilliant ideas, has just finished writing a new book (with G. Rozenberg) Cornerstones of Undecidability, Prentice-Hall, 1994 (many of us friends of Professor Salomaa call his books "symphonies" because they are not just scientific monographs but also works of arts) is publishing deep results one after the other with as much or even more energy than ever, and above all still finds time for his friends, even for those as remote from Finland as those living in New Zealand.
Thus, we in Auckland have been particularly touched and flattered that Professor Salomaa was willing to take the strenuous 40 hour trip from Turku to Auckland and back to visit our Department and to be the guest of honor at the "Salodays in Auckland" conference as documented in this volume. There have been many highlights of his visit: his excellent talks, the announcement of a major electronic journal, Journal of Universal Computer Science, of which Professor Salomaa is one of the driving forces, a number of parties and outings including one to Karekare beach (the one made famous by the film "Piano"). But maybe the most unusual event was a true Maori Hangi (not the tourist version) in which Arto was officially accepted by the welcoming Maori tribe: it is more than fitting that someone who is often called lovingly Tarzan by his friends has not just made many friends in New Zealand but has also been accepted as brother by those who came to New Zealand long before the Europeans did.
Thank you, brother Tarzan, for visiting us in New Zealand: we will not forget this event ... but we do hope for a repetition before too long!