This November marks 100 years since the birth of Christopher Strachey.
The University of Oxford is holding a symposium to celebrate his life
and research in Oxford on Saturday 19th November.
There will also be an exhibition of material from the Strachey archive
on Friday 18th November, followed by a banquet dinner
at Hertford College on the evening of Friday 18th November.
For more information and to register for attendance, please go to
Christopher Strachey (1916-1975) was a pioneering computer scientist and the
founder of the Programming Research Group, now part of the
Department of Computer Science at Oxford University.
Although Strachey was keenly interested in the practical aspects of computing,
it is in the theoretical side that he most indelibly left his mark,
notably by creating with Dana Scott the denotational (or as he called it,
‘mathematical’) approach to defining the semantics of programming languages.
Strachey also spent time writing complex programs and puzzles for various computers,
such as a draughts playing program for the Pilot ACE in 1951.
He developed some fundamental concepts of machine-independent operating systems,
including an early suggestion for time-sharing, and was a prime mover
in the influential CPL programming language.
Strachey came from a notable family of intellectuals and artists, perhaps most famous
for Christopher’s uncle Lytton, a writer and member of the Bloomsbury group.
We will be marking the occasion of 100 years since Christopher Strachey’s
birth on Saturday 19th November 2016, three days after his birthday,
with a symposium of invited speakers.
The morning will look back at Strachey’s life and works from a historical
and technical perspective, and the afternoon will concern the future of
Strachey-inspired theoretical computer science at Oxford University.
There will also be a display of related archival material on
Friday 18th November for anyone interested, and
a banquet dinner at Hertford College on the evening of Friday 18th November.
Pegasus at the V&A
The Computer Conservation Society has, until recently, been working with the
London Science Museum and the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester
on the Pegasus computers which each of these institutions own.
Sadly both these projects have had to be halted for want of museum resources.
You might wonder what has happened to these two historic machines.
The Science Museum Pegasus has gone into store and there are at present,
no plans to exhibit it again.
The Manchester machine has been lent to the Victoria & Albert Museum
(just accross the road from the Science Museum — the irony is not lost on us)
to be a part of
Engineering the World: Ove Arup and the Philosophy of Total Design
a new exhibition which runs until the 6th of November.
It is understood that Ove Arup used a Pegasus (not the same one) to help design
the Sydney Opera House.