[AUUG-Talk]: [Auugps] Last call: dealing with two boxes of AUUG documents and photos from Christopher Vance

Greg Rose ggr at seer-grog.net
Wed Sep 16 23:14:11 AEST 2020

For those of you who were associated with UNSW, I'm sorry to pass on that Ken Robinson died recently. It's a little known fact that it was Ken, not John Lions, who wrote to Bell Labs to get the first Unix license outside North America. (John, at roughly the same time, wrote to Niklaus Wirth, to get Pascal! What a role reversal.)

Note from Aaron Quigley, current head of school, below.


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Hello Greg, 
         My name is Aaron Quigley and I’m the new head of school in CSE. I wanted to let you that sadly the former acting head of school, Ken Robinson passed away on the 5th of September.
Ken joined UNSW in Jan of 1965 and by his early years in 1974 the Department of Computer Science (in EET) had a PDP 11/40 for teaching and admin. Recognising the UNIX system as ‘too good to be true’, Ken wrote to Dennis Ritchie to acquire a copy which arrived in 1975. This made UNSW the first University outside of the USA to run UNIX as a production facility. Later Ken introduced a teaching innovation, the building of a complier as a major assessable, practical project in his Programming Languages and Compiling Techniques Subject. With David Carrington, Ken implemented the Give system. Ken was the architect of the original BE Software Engineering program in CSE as well as being the program coordinator for many years. Ken was passionate for teaching and software engineering as a branch of engineering.  Ken served as acting head of school from 1987 – 89 and he retired in 2012 but he remained connected with CSE for a number of years after that.
The latest information is that the funeral will on Fri 18 Sep in the afternoon, time not specified. For those interested in the live stream, please send an email to kenrfuneral at gmail.com to register. Rosalie has said, "no flowers by request, in lieu of flowers donations to Dementia Australia.”
Thanks to Morri for providing the details on his funeral and to Sri and Morri for some of their memories of Ken.
If you have any memories of Ken you would like to share place do let us know.  

Aaron Quigley
www: www.cse.unsw.edu.au |  m: +61 401 704 922 | t: @UNSWComputing
UNSW Computer Science and Engineering

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