Tribute to Tony Fisher

Tony Fisher has died, after a short battle with cancer, at the age of 43. He joined the University in 1986 as a lecturer in the Computer Science Department where he taught courses on embedded microcomputer systems design, digital signal processing, and data communications.

Tony was a genuine bearded eccentric. As such, he could often bewilder; but he was loved and respected for what he was and what he did. A polymath who refused to be appropriated by the shifting fads and politics of academia, he applied himself with singular passion to his personal interests and with assiduous attention to his departmental duties. His approach was always original. Typically, when he designed a Rugby time server for the Department network, it was built in the form of a fully-working cuckoo clock.

Tony's devotions were primarily to his wife Caroline and three-year-old son, Edmund; he also loved music (playing the oboe and copies of several renaissance instruments for his own pleasure and for the University and York Symphony orchestras). He was fascinated by languages and linguistics generally from Russian to, more recently, New Testament Greek. A Languages for All course in the latter was followed by Tony creating a web-site consisting of a complete Greek New Testament with extensive grammatical analysis, regarded an excellent resource by ‘proper’ (as Tony would have said) New Testament scholars. His other web resource, a design aid for Linear and Digital Filters, is also widely used. The juxtaposition of these widely different tools is witness to the breadth of his academic passions.

Tony had a predilection for visiting and photographing terrestrial navigation transmitters in (inevitably) inaccessible places, and a deep and active interest in the latest in satellite and cellphone technology. Such idiosyncrasies mean that he will be fondly remembered in the Department, taking up his quirky hands-clasped-behind-the-back stance in front of the photocopier, defying it to disappoint him, or waiting patiently, as he did daily, to ascend - cup of coffee in hand - in the exciting "new" department lift. Tony was held in great affection and we will miss him.