00:02 I’m Dave R I’m a professor of applied logic and I’m the head of school elect for the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh.
00:12 My research is related to the, the internet and to building large scale systems on the internet. So the sort of systems that I’m interested in are the one’s that are composed of lots and lots of little processes the sort of things that are on phones and computers, wherever you like and they’re operating peer to peer so, that’s a bit like a people know Skype, the peer to peer phone system, it operates very well because it distributes across lots and lots of peers on the network. It would be great if systems that worked the same way that Skype does could do other, more interesting things for you like be able to help arrange your music collections, it could book flights and hotels, could or help organise diaries between people arranging things and all those sort of more complicated things that things like Skype can’t do and we’ll be seeing more of those systems coming through in the next few years and the, the academic that we’re doing helps to give the foundations for those kind of systems.
01:10 I come from Shetland so far north of the, of the, of the UK, stuck in a remote island. I come from what would people, people would typically call a working class family so, so my father was a, was a labourer and a fisherman. Five brothers and sisters and typically they went into the professions so they would be teachers, nurses that kind of thing one of them’s a doctor but they were the first generation to do that.
01:38 I spent a lot of time reading and so on as you might imagine since I ended up in, in the kind of academic mould but I also spend a lot of time out doors, which is almost unavoidable in my family because of the kind of fishing side of things we spent a lot of time in boats and so on.
01:54 Partly because Edinburgh is a prestigious University, partly because it wasn’t Aberdeen and many Shetlanders go to Aberdeen and I thought it would be nice to go somewhere else. Partly because I was chasing a woman actually, I actually married her, out 25th wedding anniversary is this year so I’m, I, you know she, she made an honest man of me.
02:24 At University I did a degree in ecology, I was a biologist not a computer scientist. So even, even in my undergraduate degree I never thought of doing computing, computing science and I got involved in computing through biology because at that time simulation work was starting to take off in, in biology.
02:45 One of the things that you learn in any decent place in academia is that everything is fiercely competitive. A lectureship comes up you, you compete for the lectureship in fact I remembered that particular interview I was absolutely certain I was dead because the interview panel contained people who were you know really very eminent in the area. So I think actually that, that did me a lot of good I was very relaxed in the interview for the particular lectureship because I felt I was so much of the, of, of an underdog there but you know it must, must have worked as they took me on.
03:22 A lot of people tend to view the sciences as being essentially you know in the worst kind of limiting case being rather like accountancy you just kind of do your experiments, you’re hunched over a lab you do the work and you churn out the results and informatics really isn’t like that it because and the reason why is because it’s an amalgamation of mathematics and traditional sciences. So you need maths in order to do it, a lot of it if you’re very theoretical feels just like maths the thing about that is that it’s abstract.
03:52 The nice thing about being in my line of work is that I still have options so here I am I’m 47 or something and there’s still different things I could do.