School of Informatics graduates from 25 years ago meet online
2021 marked 25 years since the University of Edinburgh Computer Science, Joint Degrees and M.Eng. Class of 1996 graduated. The occasion called for a reunion and as the pandemic got in the way of meeting in person, an online reunion was hosted on 16th October 2021.
A long and colourful history of the School of Informatics and computer science research and teaching in Edinburgh means that when our alumni reflect on their experiences, they differ substantially from our current students’ experience. In 1996 the School of Informatics didn’t yet exist (it was established in 1998) so a class graduating that year would consider themselves students of various predecessors of current Edinburgh departments.
Lecturers and students meet again
The three-and-a-half-hour event, which was organised by Reshma Munbodh (CSEE ‘96), Christos Sotiriou (CSEE ‘96), Philip Wilson (CS ‘96), Neil Guthrie (M.Eng. ‘96) and Fraser Moore (CS ‘96), proved popular and was widely attended. It brought together 27 alumni from around the world: the UK, Finland, Denmark, Greece, France, the US, Canada, Singapore and Australia. 10 former lecturers joined the celebrations as well.
Prof. Jane Hillston, Prof. David Robertson and Prof. Peter Grant talked about the present of the School of Informatics, College of Science and Engineering and School of Engineering respectively. Profs. Stuart Anderson, DK Arvind, Julian Bradfield, Murray Cole, Robert Fisher, Eric McKenzie and Anthony Walton discussed personal recollections and updates on the university, learning methods, subjects, resources and the student population.
The event included personal introductions by alumni participants that underscored the wealth of their accumulated knowledge, academic and industry achievements and experience, as well as a wonderful, nostalgic virtual tour of the university created for the reunion by Mr. Neil Guthrie, videos and class photos from former classmates, and breakout sessions, which were a great opportunity for alumni and lecturers to reconnect, share memories and catch up.
Where are they now?
A class LinkedIn group, the University of Edinburgh Computer Science and Co Graduating Class of 1996, has been set up to connect classmates and facilitate future events. If you’re a class of 96 graduate who has missed the reunion, please join the group.
Members of the Class of 96 chose various career paths, to mention some:
- Andrew Elmore - CSEE ’96, Head of Engineering and Chief Technology Officer at Grupo Santander
- Joyce Garden - Math Physics ’96, Software Architect at Cadence Design Systems
- Hugh Greene - CS AI'96, Principal Engineer at Canon Medical Research Europe Ltd.
- Neil Guthrie - M.Eng. ’96, Owner at Line 3 Media
- Balint Joo - CS Physics ’96, Group Leader in Advanced Computing at Oak Ridge National Laboratory
- Melanie (Baird) Lee - CS ’96, British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy Counsellor
- Nikos Massios - CS ’96, Expert at European Banking Authority
- Fraser Moore - CS ’96, Development Team Lead at Xero
- Mike Moran - CSAI ’96, Principal Engineer at Skyscanner
- Reshma Munbodh - CSEE ’96, Assistant Professor at Brown University
- Christos Sotiriou - CSEE ’96, Associate Professor at the University of Thessaly
- Donal Stewart - CS ’96, Contract Software Engineer at DemonSoft Ltd
- Keir Storrie - CSAI ’96, Field Applications Engineering Manager at Verimatrix
- Christopher Walton - CS ’96, Software Development Manager at Amazon
- Philip Wilson CS ’96, Manager at Ordnance Survey
The reunion organisers wish to thank the University of Edinburgh Alumni Office and the School of Informatics Communications team for supporting the organisers, and all the participants for making the virtual reunion such a successful event.