The School of Computing staff party looked to the past as staff said goodbye to a Professor Peter Welch and found out more about the ‘father of computer science’ Alan Turing. Staff gathered in the Gulbenkian for a drinks reception followed by a viewing of The Imitation Game, a biopic of Alan Turing, starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Fifty-six people attended, including the Dean and the Head of Sports.
Head of School, Frank Wang said, ‘Two years ago the staff team visited Bletchley Park, the wartime codebreaking home of Alan Turing, known as the father of computer science. By viewing The Imitation Game we re-visited the Bletchley Park virtually and learned more about the life of Alan Turing.’
Bletchley Park was home to Second World War codebreakers whose work is said to have helped shorten the war by two years and Alan Turing played a key role in decrypting the messages sent by the Germans by creating a computer to counter the Enigma machine.
This Christmas party was also a farewell party for Professor Peter Welch. He is finishing his long service of 42 years at the University of Kent at the end of this year. Peter Welch has been a Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and, from 1989, Professor of Parallel Computing at the University of Kent at Canterbury. Frank said ‘This party gives us a chance to value Peter’s outstanding loyalty and dedication. We want to celebrate his achievements and the School will award Peter an Emeritus Professorship.’