About the Speaker

Sir Charles Antony Richard Hoare

Sir Charles Antony Richard Hoare is best known for the development of Quicksort, one of the world’s most widely used sorting algorithms, Hoare logic and the formal language Communicating Sequential Processes (CSP).  He is currently an Emeritus Professor in the Oxford University Computing Laboratory and a principal researcher at Microsoft Research in Cambridge.

Hoare was awarded a Bachelor’s degree in Classics from the University of Oxford in 1956, and Honorary Doctorates of Science from Queen’s University, Belfast and the Athens University of Economics and Business, in 1987 and 2007 respectively.  He has won several awards for his work, including the ACM Turing Award in 1980, the Kyoto Prize for Information Science in 2000 and the John von Neumann Medal in 2011.  He was knighted in 2000 for services to education and computer science.

Can Computers Understand Their Own Programs?

The answer depends on ideas of philosophy, logic, proofs of programs, and self-application. These are interests which I share with Turing, and which go back to the ancient philosophers Aristotle and Euclid. Their teachings provide an excellent basis for a general understanding, even today. In conclusion, I propose a kind of Turing test to answer the question posed by my title.