Professor Ian Pyle

Head of Department 1973-1983

Ian C. Pyle (MA, PhD Cantab 1959) was a scientist at Harwell from 1958 until 1972. During the period of 1969 - 1971, he was also Manager of the Basic Design Department of the Linesman division of the Plessey Company.

On 1st January 1973, Professor Ian C. Pyle was appointed Founding Professor of Computer Science. This was a defining moment for the history of Computer Science at the University of York and we consider this to be the point at which our discipline was formally recognised at this institution.

As Bill Freeman recollects upon Ian’s arrival, the Department of Computation was developing in two directions, that which assisted with the practicalities of operating these new machines and the education and research potential as an academic subject. Under Ian’s guidance, the Department of Computation split: one strand becoming the Computer Service, a forerunner of today’s IT Services, and the newly named Department of Computer Science embarked on an academic and research-focused path leading to where we are today.  

Upon leaving York, Ian then worked for Systems Designers (subsequently SD-Scicon, then EDS, now part of Hewlett-Packard) until 1993. 

He was a Professor in Computer Science at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth from 1993 until 1996, and in 1997 was appointed Emeritus Professor of the University of Wales, Aberystwyth (now the University of Aberystwyth).

We are thrilled that he led the proceedings for the Department’s 50 Years of Computer Science at York celebrations in 2022.