Trip to Scotland and Newcastle, September 1981


31 August -- 15 September, 1981

In the late summer of 1981, Dijkstra gave several talks in Scotland and Newcastle. Here is an overview of his trip:

+ The Marine Hotel in North Berwick. The host was Mr. Hannah of Burroughs. The audience consisted of 10 men from various Burroughs plants in Europe. Dijkstra lectured for five successive days, between 6 and 7 hours per day. The "standard surprise" from the audience was that the universal quantification over the empty set yields true.

+ By train to Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The host was — as usual — Brian Randell. Dijkstra stayed in Randell's house for 9 days; Randell's two eldest children slept outside in a tent. In Newcastle, Dijkstra attended the 14th Joint International Seminar on the Teaching of Computing Science, which was devoted to Very Large Scale Integration. A summary in Dijkstra's words: "Much of the design process as shown to us seemed engineering in the worst possible sense of the word, viz. essentially by trial and error."

+ Off to Glasgow, to visit the Department of Computer Science of the university. The host was J. Cavouras. Dijkstra gave a talk on the presentation of programs for an audience of about 100 people.

+ Off to Edinburgh, to visit the Heriot-Watt University. The host was H. Davis. Dijkstra gave the same talk for an audience of about 75 people.

Source: EWD 802