Donald Michie House naming ceremony in pictures

14 June 2016

More than 60 Fellows, students and friends gathered at Kellogg on Saturday 11th June 2016, to celebrate the renaming of the College’s short-term accommodation at 12 Bradmore Road.

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Donald Michie spent the Second World War at Bletchley Park where he was a code breaker, utilising the world’s first programmable digital computer, Colossus. In April 1944, Donald invented a technique for using the Colossus computer to automatically decode the secondary wheel of the Lorentz machine, which the Germans used for encoding the high-level teleprinter cipher, code-named Fish.

This innovation endowed Colossus with a degree of general-purpose programmability, and led to a radical last-minute enhancement in the construction of Colossus II. The results were dramatic. Texts which had previously taken days to decipher could now be completed in hours. At Bletchley Park, Donald played chess each week with Alan Turing, when they would discuss whether it might be possible to develop intelligent machines to play chess, and learn from experience.

Donald went on to play a leading role in machine and artificial intelligence. He was a strong supporter of the principles of public engagement, access and innovation – principles that are at the heart of Kellogg’s mission.

Following drinks in the gardens of the newly renamed Donald Michie House, guests enjoyed a formal dinner in the College Dining Hall in the presence of the President, Jonathan Michie.

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Speeches were given by Jonathan Michie, Donald Michie’s son and President of Kellogg College; Roger Ainsworth Master, of St Catherine’s College and Professor of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford; Michael Smith author and Bletchley Park Fellow; and J. V. Field, Honorary Visiting Research Fellow at Birkbeck, University of London and Co-editor of a new version of Donald’s 1945 Report on Tunny.

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Further pictures from the event can be viewed here: College Facebook Page