Oral history of British science
Hoare, Tony (Part 3 of 15). An Oral History of British Science.
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Interviewee’s home, Cambridge
Hoare, Charles Antony Richard, 1934- (speaker, male)
Lean, Thomas (speaker, male)
Part 3: Remarks on: visiting England in youth; returning 'home' to England, encountering snow and cold for first time, apples tasting different; father's background, son of school teacher, became colonial civil servant; mother's background, actors and musical artists; father's education in classics and philosophy at Oxford. [03:00] Remarks on family in England: maternal grandfather's estate in Winchester and move to Barham in Kent; paternal grandmother's house in Harrow; uncles and aunts; cousins coming to grow up with TK's family. [06:00] Remarks on: siblings, rivalry while young, remaining close; similarity in appearance between TK and brother; looking after younger sisters; [07:30] not having servants in England; experience of growing up; TH ambitions to be a writer or inventor, creativity, freedom, independence; lack of parental pressure to choose a career. [10:40] Remarks on university: reasons for going to Merton College, retaining links; extra work at university, such as reading whole Iliad not sections; feeling of growing knowledge; making friends, such as John Race; attending 1952-56, returning to study statistics in 1958-59; playing chess for college, Oxford Union debating society, acting and producing plays, playing bridge until 1959; experimental theatre club, such as producing Plato's 'Symposium' staring Nevile Coghill and Plautus's The Captives; student drinking; [18:30] college life; late night logic study group; interest in mathematical logic. [19:45] Remarks on university course content: Latin, Greek language and literature; translations; Virgil's 'Aeneid', Juvenal's 'Satires', 'The Trojan Women'; philosophy and ancient history; ancient and modern philosophy; classes from Gilbert Ryle, author of 'Concept of Mind'; graduate classes from Austin; [23:00] favourite parts of the course, enjoying logically mathematical philosophy; teaching by John Lucas, Professor Walsh; Tutor Robert Levens; reading Alan Turing's paper on the in-computability of numbers. [25:35] Remarks on: philosophical logic; TH interest in implications of computing and philosophy; no experience of computers as an undergraduate; John Race's cigar box logical machines; limited material available to learn about computers; applying for a job with Lyons' LEO computer branch. [29:50] Remarks on link between classics and computing: interest in language and grammar; linguistic course taught by Professor Palmer; computer languages.
Interview with computer scientist Sir Tony Hoare.