Thursday, October 29, 2015

S. Barry Cooper (1943-2015)

Barry Cooper, a computability theorist and professor at the University of Leeds, passed away on Monday after a brief illness. Cooper was a big proponent of computability and Alan Turing in particular. He chaired the advisor committee for the Turing Year celebrations in 2012, and organized a number of events in Cambridge around the centennial of Turing's birth on June 23.

For the Turing year, Cooper and Jan van Leeuwen co-edited a massive volume Alan Turing: His Work and Impact which includes all of Turing's publications and a number of commentaries on the legacy of that work. I wrote a piece on Turing's Dots for the volume. Alan Turing: His Work and Impact received the R. R. Hawkins Award, the top award for professional and scholarly publishing across all the arts and sciences.

Barry Cooper was also the driving force behind Computability in Europe, an eclectic meeting to discuss all things related to computation.

I hope Barry now gets to meet his hero Turing but we'll miss him greatly down here.


  1. My deep condolences to native relatives and friends. What a pity that Barry won't be farther with us. May he rest in peace.

  2. Sincere condolences to family members, his colleagues and friends. He has made remarkable contributions. He will be missed very much.

  3. Sad news. I met him once. He had a distinct and memorable personality for a computer scientist. He will be missed.

  4. My condolences. I exchanged many emails with Barry in his role as editor for "The Once and Future Turing," to which I contributed a chapter. He was unbelievably patient and helpful.

  5. Barry Cooper and I were good friends for the last couple years talking much about Alan Turing things not yet published. We had wonderful conversations about a great many things. It is so quiet now it is very painful not to hear from him answering my letters,emails. His last email to me 3 weeks ago was that he had 3-6 months to live and he was going to try to get as much work finished. He ended his letter with :"you and Alan are the most important to me". I will miss him terribly. Life will not be the same.
    Julia m. Turing