Oral history of British science
Hoare, Tony (Part 11 of 15). An Oral History of British Science.
The British Library Board acknowledges the intellectual property rights of those named as contributors to this recording and the rights of those not identified.
Legal and ethical usage »
Interviewee’s home, Cambridge
Hoare, Charles Antony Richard, 1934- (speaker, male)
Lean, Thomas (speaker, male)
Part 11: Comments on Belfast background of Troubles: soldiers, bombing of department outbuilding, disruption to life, council strike, Power Sharing government, improvements in later years; degree of conversation about topic, not talking about troubles with colleagues; TH neutrality on the side of the Protestants; [05:50] anecdote about bombing of departmental building and development of colleagues photos of the event; worries over council strike; changing political situation. [08:25] Remarks on: son Tom's schooling and troubles with accent; anecdote about TH's problems talking to dustman; schooling of daughter Joanna; feeling it would be good for children to be out of Belfast; family life and work balance. [14:50] Remarks on leaving Belfast: development of department; TH wanting to develop a graduate course on theory for people from industry; death of Christopher Strachey, anecdote about TH applying for post in Oxford; anecdote about TH being offered chair at Imperial College; lengthy wait for TH to be offered post in Oxford, comparative department sizes. [16:35] Remarks on Oxford: inviting visitors and research staff; anecdote about visit of vice-chancellor; setting up of master's course; expansion of information technology at universities, new staff member Peter Henderson; university funding squeeze under Thatcher, but support to recruit more staff for computing leading to expansion; [21:10] TH planning undergraduate course; Oxford collegiate arrangements for staff and students; planning undergraduate degree; TH membership of Board of Mathematics; position of Computer Science as part of mathematics in Oxford; expansion of department facilities from house on Banbury Road to Keble Road, and more recently to Radcliffe Infirmary. [25:35] Story about difficulties convincing university to start undergraduate course. [28:40] Comments on history of computer science at Oxford: comparison of computer science at Oxford and Cambridge, under Maurice Wilkes; origins of Oxford department, foundation for Christopher Strachey; computer laboratory; department head numerical analyst Leslie Fox's indifference to computing; funding questions over a chair to replace Strachey. [32:00] Remarks on: TH plans for department research, large SRC grants for sequential and concurrent programming; staffing; European grants for formal methods reserarch, ProCoS to develop theory that would cover major software components, collaboration with colleagues in Germany and Netherlands; work activities writing papers, not using computerised tools, unlike US efforts; nature of work.
Interview with computer scientist Sir Tony Hoare.