Oral history of British science
Hoare, Tony (Part 12 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 12: Remarks on Oxford: role of programmers in department, implementing compilers and languages, Joe Stoy's work on publishable operating system written in language by Christopher Strachey; capabilities of Modular One computer, Thursday meetings to manage resource; purchase of replacement Interdata computer, microprogrammable, capability and size; arrival of personal computers, purchase of Sun computers; Alvey grants for equipment, anecdote about support of friend in civil service; [05:40] use of personal computers for word processing; Alvey support for Bill Roscoe's computerised tool for analysing concurrent programs, basis for work that led to winning Queen's award with INMOS; Alvey project arrangements, administration of grants; differences in SRC and DTI support leading Bill Roscoe to having to set up a spin-off company Formal System Ltd. [13:05] Remarks on Alvey: importance of funding in early 1980s, putting them in position to apply for European Grants; sometimes unsatisfactory university-industry tie ins; creating acceptance of computer science as a research subject. [15:45] Remarks on: TH view as practical subject based on theory; value of Alvey money to bringing new people in; anecdote about importance of bringing in interesting staff, one college rejecting all applicants for a post; anecdote about left wing Bernard Sufrin success at Worcester College. [20:10] Remarks on: life in department, lots of administration; lectures, research, dealing with administrators; TH difficulties setting up full honours degree, anecdote about TH lobbying vice-chancellor on the train; importance of full honours course in adding to staff list. [24:55] Discussion of TH running of department: good experience of department where he had recruited everyone; TH strategy for picking staff and interviews, need to build homogeneous team, downsides in lack of specialisation.
Interview with computer scientist Sir Tony Hoare.