Oral history of British science

Hoare, Tony (Part 11 of 15). An Oral History of British Science.

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  • Subjects

    Computer Software

  • Recording date


  • Recording locations

    Interviewee’s home, Cambridge

  • Interviewees

    Hoare, Charles Antony Richard, 1934- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Lean, Thomas (speaker, male)

  • Abstract

    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.

  • Description

    Interview with computer scientist Sir Tony Hoare.

  • Related transcripts

    Professor Sir Tony Hoare interviewed by Dr Thomas Lean: full transcript of the interview

  • Related links

    Visit this interviewee's page on the 'Voices of Science' web resource

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