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Intellectual AutoBiography

I was thinking about my CV, wondering why it was so boring for me to produce.

I think that the reason is, that most of the interesting things I have done are things that I have done on my own account. Not as part of my job, and not as part of my formal education.

So I thought I'd write a bit about those bits.

I have only once or twice briefly had a position in which I was supposed to be doing research. My first job was at Nelson Research Labs. That lasted about 18 months. Later there was a truncated year at the University of Warwick, during which I was supposedly working towards a PhD, but was actually in no fit state to apply my mind to intellectual (rather than emotional) problems.

Still, the one thing which I enjoy most is thinking. I have thought about many interesting problems, arrived at some fascinating conclusions, and written almost nothing about any of this. Of course, you can't solve real problems in your head, and what fascinates me may be puerile to you.

Anyway, this is the story, the way it was for me.

I don't recall anything you could call intellectually interesting before Grammar School, where I first met the digital computer (back in 1965 when they weren't so easy to come by), and won myself a place at Cambridge.

Cambridge was not as stimulating an experience as I hoped, and somewhat shortlived. At Cambridge I confirmed that steam engines are boring, and computers compulsive. Since they were planning to teach me about the former rather than the latter, I went on my way. While I was there however, I first became properly acquainted with computers.

At Nelson Research Labs I studied Compiler-Compilers and Electrical Power Transmission System Analysis software. After 18 months at this, corporate reengineering made it advisable to move on.


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