APL@50 Program at a Glance

  • 10-10.15 AM
    Event Opening
  • 10.15-10.45 AM
    Invited lecture by Jeffrey Shallit
  • 10.45-11.15 AM
    Invited lecture by Eric Iverson
  • 11.15-11.30 AM
    Coffee break
  • 11.30-12 AM
    Invited lecture by Gordon Ramer
  • 12-1.45 PM
    Lunch break
  • 1.45-2 PM
    screening of Catherine Lathwell's video about K. Iverson's book A Programming Language.
  • 2-2.30 PM
    Invited lecture by Jim Brown
  • 2.30-2.45 AM
    Coffee break
  • 2.45-3.45 PM
    50 years later: what we have learnt, what has been accomplished, panel
  • 3.45-4 PM
    Event closing

APL@50 Invited Speakers

  • Jim Brown: Should you compromise on technical issues? APL2: The early years

    Jim Brown, CEO SmartArrays, Inc.

    Jim Brown is currently attempting to spread the use of array technology to the general computing community through participation in two companies: SmartArrays and NestedComputing.

    IBM's APL2 is based on Dr. Brown's PhD Thesis from Syracuse University A Generalization of APL.

  • Eric Iverson: APL past, present, future

    Eric Iverson, President of Development for Jsoftware

    Born in Alberta and raised in Boston and New York City suburbs. Dropped out of Yale at the start of second year and joined I.P. Sharp Associates (IPSA) in 68 as employee #9 in Toronto.

    Consultant on development of IBM's APL 1130 and a rewrite of APL 360 targeted at small machines that was never released. Junior co-author of the APL Component File System and developer on Sharp APL. Managed development of Siemens APL in Germany (72-73). Manager of Sharp APL development (74-84). Managing Director of IPSA European operations (85-86).

    Started Iverson Software in 1990 to develop and market Iverson APL PC (based on rights acquired to Sharp APL PC). Shortly joined by Ken Iverson and Roger Hui to develop and market J in addition to APL. By 1994 focus was entirely on J and Iverson Software was renamed Jsoftware in 2000.

    Continue full time with J development and marketing. Most recent fun: developing and releasing J in the App Store for iPhones and iPads.

  • Gordon Ramer: My Obsession with APL

    Gordon Ramer

    Gord Ramer graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Science Degree (Electrical Engineering) in 1963, and received a Master in Science (Applied Mathematics) in 1964. After a one year teaching position (mathematics) in Burlington, Gord accepted a position with the Data Processing department at the Ontario Ministry of Finance. There he created the payroll systems for the 55000 Ontario Government employees on one of the first IBM 360/30's in Canada. Gord moved to York University in 1967, where he became Associate Director of Computer Services. Over the next 3 years or so, Gord created York APL. In 1971, Gord became the Director of Computer Services at St. Lawrence College in Kingston, Ontario.

    An offer to take part in a creative project involving APL enticed Gord to join MCM (Micro Computer Machines) in 1973, where he was in charge of software development for the MCM personal APL computer.

    In 1979, Gord joined The Intergroup Partnership in Toronto. He offered financial computing services to clients such and Manulife as a consultant, until joining Ezer & Associates in 1984. At Ezer & Associates, Gord developed an online banking system in APL which was used by several trust companies across Canada. Gord was Vice-President of Ezenet Corp. from 1997-2000 and continued as a private consultant to Ezenet Corp. until his retirement in 2001.

    Gord and his wife Carol continue to live off the grid in the country near the village of Hartington ON. They have 3 children and 3 grandchildren.

  • Jeffrey Shallit: Why I'm Still Using APL

    Jeffrey Shallit, University of Waterloo.

    Jeffrey Shallit is Professor of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo, in Ontario, Canada. He received his Ph. D. in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1983, under David Goldschmidt and Manuel Blum. He taught at the University of Chicago and Dartmouth College prior to his present position. He has published over 150 papers in automata theory, combinatorics on words, formal languages, and number theory. He has written three books: Algorithmic Number Theory with Eric Bach (MIT Press, 1996); Automatic Sequences with Jean-Paul Allouche (Cambridge, 2003); and A Second Course in Formal Languages and Automata Theory (Cambridge, 2009).

    He learned APL at the IBM Scientific Center in Philadelphia, under the guidance of Ken Iverson, Adin Falkoff, and Don Orth, in 1973.

50 years later: what we have learnt, what has been accomplished

  • Jim Brown
  • Eric Iverson
  • Gordon Ramer
  • Jeffrey Shallit
  • Robert Bernecky