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Gresham College: Prof. Richard Harvey – Great Ideas from Computer Science: #1/6 – An Introduction to Algorithms


20 October 2020

A great lecture by Richard Harvey

About this series – Great Ideas from Computer Science

The modern world is powered by great ideas from Computer Science including algorithms, data, programs, computers, security, and networks. 

In this series IT Professor Richard Harvey will look at how these ideas have gone on to influence – and pervade – our lives and our thinking.


About this lecture

Algorithms, loosely translated, are systems for doing things. Algorithms are thus the link from pre-history to the modern world – without algorithms we would have an inanimate universe without all the mess and complexity of real life. It turns out that the history of algorithms is messy. 

There are also general theories of algorithms, and those ideas are not messy at all; they are very beautiful, powerful and should be required reading for the internet age.

Professor Harvey has written a blog about this lecture and some of the code he used in the making of it:

About Professor Richard Harvey

Richard Harvey is IT Livery Company Professor of Information Technology at Gresham College and Professor at the School of Computing Sciences at the University of East Anglia.

He also holds several posts in the Vice-Chancellor’s Office at University of East Anglia, including Academic Director for Admissions and Academic Director of Internationalisation. Before joining UEA in 1993, Professor Harvey was a mathematician at first Plessey Naval Systems and then Marconi Underwater Systems.

Professor Harvey holds a PhD in the application of statistical estimation theory to the passive synthetic aperture problem. In his early career, he focused on problems in signal processing, acoustics and vibration.

His research now focuses on artificial intelligence and computer vision. Recently he has been working in the field of artificial lip-reading which fascinates him because of the scientific challenge and allows him to debunk false claims and misunderstandings.

He routinely speaks at schools and conferences around the country both on technical topics related to Computer Science but also on matters relating to admissions policy and widening participation.

Professor Harvey has also acted as a consultant for international companies and as Executive and Non-Executive Director for several spin-outs and start-ups.

As the IT Livery Company Professor of Information Technology at Gresham College he delivered his first lecture series in 2018-19.

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