Department of Computer Science and Technology

Computer Laboratory 75th Anniversary

Event poster

Celebrating 75 years

The Computer Laboratory celebrated its 75th anniversary on Wednesday 24th April, 2013. This special event also marked the centenary of the Cambridge computer pioneer, Professor Sir Maurice Wilkes. The programme for the day included a number of special lectures and concluded with the annual Cambridge Computer Laboratory Ring dinner. The full programme of events held during the day is listed below:

Programme of events

11:30 – Poster competition
(continued throughout the afternoon)
14:30 – Wheeler lecture: “Could computers understand their own programs?”
The annual Wheeler lecture was given by Sir Tony Hoare, Emeritus Professor of Computer Science at the University of Oxford, Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and Honorary Member of the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory. The lecture is named in honour of David Wheeler, an early member of the Laboratory and computer pioneer.
15:30 – Refreshments and book launch
Professor Haroon Ahmed signing his book
for Bjarne Stroustrup, inventor of C++
please click for larger image
The newly published book: Cambridge computing: the first 75 years was launched with speeches by Professor Andy Hopper, Lord Alec Broers, Professor Haroon Ahmed and Mr. Julian Platt. Written by Professor Haroon Ahmed, this book is a lavishly illustrated and engaging account of computing in Cambridge from Babbage to the present day. Copies are available from Third Millennium Information Ltd.
16:30 – Innovation lecture
The innovation lecture was delivered by Dr. Mike Lynch, OBE, FREng., founder of Invoke Capital, UK-based technology investment company, former CEO of Autonomy and Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.
17:30 – Innovation discussion panel
Speakers: Dr. Andy Harter, FREng, CEng, FIET, FBCS, CITP, co-founder and CEO RealVNC; Dr. Mike Muller, co-founder and CTO ARM; Dr. Mike Lynch, OBE, FREng, DL, co-founder Autonomy Corporation; and Dr. Eben Upton, co-founder Raspberry Pi. Chair: Professor Andy Hopper
18:30 – Poster competition results and prize giving
19:30 – Graduate Association annual dinner
Speaker: Lord Alec Broers; Master of ceremonies: Professor Andy Hopper


“On behalf of Google, I warmly congratulate the Computer Laboratory on the occasion of its 75th anniversary. The Computer Laboratory and Google share a strong tradition in computer science and engineering; albeit theirs being somewhat longer than ours. We also applaud their culture of innovation and we trust that the next 75 years will be as exciting and rewarding as were the first 75.”
Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google.

“A key factor in Microsoft's choice for the location of its first research center outside of the United States, was the proximity to Cambridge. As one of the world’s best teaching and research universities, with historical links to the founding of computer science, Cambridge University’s Computer Laboratory has been the hub for major advances in computing, including original work in building complete computers and the development of programming languages and operating systems. The technologies developed by the University, Microsoft Research and other leading technology companies in Cambridge will be fundamental in addressing some of the greatest challenges of this century.”
William H. Gates III, KBE, Co-founder and Chairman of Microsoft, and Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“The Cambridge Computer Laboratory has been and continues to be, a world leader in the field of Computer Science. Its strong emphasis on academic excellence and solving real-world problems produces top graduates and post-graduates ready to work in world-leading technology companies. Qualcomm values the opportunity to sponsor and collaborate with excellent students and faculty in the Computer Lab and would like to congratulate the Lab on reaching this historic milestone. We look forward to many more years of collaboration.”
Paul Jacobs, CEO, Qualcomm.

Press coverage

The event has been widely covered in the news, including the following reports: