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March 08, 2003

Roger Needham died last week

I sadly missed the news last week that Roger Needham had died. Roger was one of the first computer scientists who worked on operating systems and many important inventions in operating systems, networking and security can be contributed to him. He was director of the Computer Science Lab in Cambridge for a very long time and he was the reason why Microsoft Research put its European lab in Cambridge. I last talked to him when he came to Cambridge rotor workshop to attend the dinner and he once again tried to recruit me. The NY Times obituary is here.

To me Roger had a God-like status. His capability to quickly see the core of problems was unparalleled. His dry intellectual humor made that you paid attention to everything he said, afraid to miss another gem. He was the one who instilled the believe in me that Computer Science is all about engineering, that we first and foremost must build systems to understand their problems.

I feel very fortunate to have known him and I will miss him.

Posted by Werner Vogels at March 8, 2003 09:19 AM