Compiled by Bill Freeman.

This page provides a skeleton of years with the main event(s) and the holders of the principal offices within the Department for each year. These principal offices are listed in the order in which they were instituted. For identification of initials of their incumbents, see the foot of this page, after the main table.

Events appear here on the occasion of their first occurrence. Research projects, contracts, grants, etc. have been entered in this table only if they are the 'biggest so far'.

For historical accuracy, note that BSc used to be BA, MSc used to be BPhil, and PhD used to be DPhil. The dates of the change-overs are lost in the mists of time, so the older terminology has been used here only for the earliest years.

To save space, 'first use of fire' means 'first use of fire by a member of the Department of Computer Science at York'.

There is no intention to suggest that any event listed is of greater importance than any event not listed - this is merely down to the availability of data at the time the schedule was compiled (August 2011).

Year  Event
1963 University of York founded
1964 Number of computers at the University of York: 0 (not unusual, but Leeds had one!)
1965 [The Flowers Committee inquires into the provision of computer/ing facilities for research in British universities]
  [Silent assumption is that any teaching support will be for teaching researchers about how to use computers in their research]
1966 University constructs 'Computation' buildings; South Block: now forms the west wing of the
  'IT Services' building; North Block: now overbuilt by 'Costcutters' etc. in Market Square
1967 New department of 'Computation' started; 'Director': David Burnett-Hall
  New computer: Elliott 4130 (when that was a big deal, and determined the computing culture of the entire University)
  Following the Flowers Report, the Department had service teaching and service support responsibilities
1968 First Lecturer appointed: John Willmott
  First research assistant appointed: Sinnica Whyat
1969 First intake to BA Mathematics with Computation (main Maths, subsid Comp)
  First intake to taught BPhil Numerical Computation (with Maths Dept)
1971 First undergraduate projects started this October
1973 Founding Professor of Computer Science appointed: Ian Pyle
1974 First two research students registered: Steve Bostock and John Jones (supervisor: Ian Wand)
  'Computer Science' had now replaced 'Computation' for all purposes
1975 First significant research grant (£60k): Real-time programming language
  First issue of the Computer Science Student's Handbook (Editor: Bill Freeman)
1976 First intake to BSc Computer Science (main) with Mathematics (subsid)
  Elliott 4130 computer replaced by DEC System-10
1977 Research grant of £63k: Modelling thermal regenerators (with Newcastle)
  First technician appointed: Malcolm Snaize
1979 First intake to BSc (later BEng) Computer Science (single subject)
1980 Research grant of £256k: Computing facilities for research in software technology
  [The 'Finniston Report', Engineering our Future is published by the Government]
1982 First home-grown lecturer appointed: Colin Runciman
1983 First promotion to a personal chair: Ian Wand
  First intake to MEng Computer Systems and Software Engineering
1984 Research grant of £586k: Distributed integrated project support environment
1985 Department moved into its second new building (now occupied by Environment)
  [The UGC re-classifies Computer Science as a laboratory science, to our immense benefit]
1987 Founding Professor of Software Engineering appointed: John McDermid
1988 High Integrity Systems Engineering (HISE) research group started
1999 Alan Burns becomes HoD   
2000 Fiona Polack becomes Chair of BoS    
2002 First fellowship of a national academy, for software engineering: John McDermid FREng     
2003 Michael Harrison becomes HoD      
2004 Alan Burns becomes HoD; Steve King becomes Chair of BoS      
2006 John McDermid becomes HoD; Colin Runciman becomes Chair of BoS; Steve King becomes Deputy HoD (Teaching); Susan Stepney becomes Associate HoD     
2008 First higher doctorate gained, for researches in computer vision: Edwin Hancock DSc (Durham); Jeremy Jacob becomes Chair of BoS     
  First intake to MEng Computer Science with Embedded Systems
2009 First intake to MEng Computer Science with Artificial Intelligence; John Clark becomes Deputy HoD (Research)     
  First intake to MEng Computer Science with Business Enterprise Systems
2010 John McDermid awarded OBE for services to the defence industry     
  Department moved into its fourth new building, at Heslington East
2011 Colin Runciman becomes Deputy HoD (Teaching)  


AB Alan Burns
ADNE Alistair Edwards
AMW Alan Wood
CR Colin Runciman
DGBH David Burnett-Hall
FACP Fiona Polack
ICP Ian Pyle
ICW Ian Wand
IDB Ian Benest
JAC John Clark
JAM John McDermid
JLJ Jeremy Jacob
CK Chris Kimble
KCM Keith Mander
MDH Michael Harrison
SK Steve King
SS Susan Stepney
WF Bill Freeman