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British Computer Society (B.C.S.), 1961-1962

MS. Eng. misc. b. 285/E.7
Held at the Weston Library

  • Request

Correspondence and papers on 'Non-Numerical Analysis'

In October 1961 The Computer Journall (Vol.4, No.3, p.212) published an article by L. Fox called 'Computing Machines for Teaching and Research' which elicited a lively correspondence in the Journal regarding the validity and importance of non-numerical analysis. Strachey and S. Gill replied immediately to Fox 'Your stirring article which has just appeared in The Computer Journal was obviously intended to cause controversy and we have risen to the bait'. They wrote a lengthy letter which was published in Vol.4, No.4, January 1962, and which was answered by Fox in the same issue. In this second letter Fox offered to organise a Summer School in Oxford in 1963 'on "Non-numerical applications", "Artificial intelligence", or whatever title is thought desirable, at which Gill and Strachey and other workers in these fields could give us the benefit of their knowledge'. This became the very successful Summer School on Advances in Programming and Non-Numerical Computation. (See MS. Eng. misc. b. 297/H.11 and MS. Eng. misc. b. 298/H.12 for correspondence and papers regarding this School).

The folder does not contain a copy of Fox's original article, but includes:

  1. Typescript, stencilled typescript and proof of Strachey's and Gill's letter.
  2. Typescript and stencilled copy of Fox's rejoinder.
  3. Correspondence between Strachey, Gill, Fox and E. Mutch (Editor of the Journal).
  4. Photocopies of numerous letters sent to the editor of the Journal and passed along to Strachey, Gill and Fox (these letters have not been indexed).
  5. Copy of interesting, lengthy letter from Gill to the editor, 18 January 1962, regarding the philosophical 'background' to the controversy.


  • Creation: 1961-1962


1 file

Language of Materials

  • English


MS. Eng. misc. b. 285/E.7

Former reference:

CSAC 71.1.80/E.7

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom