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Honouring the Canadian Global Computing Pioneer and Icon, Kelly Gotlieb!

By Stephen Ibaraki, I.S.P., ITCP

I received an invitation in October to a special ceremony at the University of Victoria, where Dr. Calvin Gotlieb, is receiving his Honorary Degree on November 10 2011.

I expressed my regrets to the university and to Kelly that I am unable to attend since I am chairing long-planned sessions in New York during that week.

I am sorry that I am unable to be there, so I am writing this tribute to this great Canadian and aligned with my keynote that I gave in March celebrating Kelly’s 90th birthday with over 200 guests at the University of Toronto.

Kelly is a computing pioneer, whose innovations and accomplishments helped lay the foundation for a worldwide industry, educational stream and profession. His contributions are so profound and their impact so diverse and in so many areas that the lasting value cannot be comprehended.

For the Canadian Information Processing Society or CIPS inspired by our founder Kelly Gotlieb. Prime Minister Stephen Harper stated "Your efforts have made positive and lasting contributions to Canada's economic growth and competitiveness." This all due to Kelly!

We have Dr. Mike Williams, past President of the IEEE-CS, where in his over 70 pages of transcript; he documents Kelly contributions since the 1940’s.

I did a media search today which yielded over 100 pages appearing in many publications worldwide where Kelly’s work is recognized or he is interviewed.

I did an interview with Maria Klawe and I asked her to share a story or two in celebration of Kelly’s 90th from her nearly 35 years of knowing Kelly.Maria is the past Dean at Princeton, college president of HMC, on the Microsoft board of directors and recently nominated to the Broadcom board. She recounted how she was a graduate student at U of T and Kelly was 57 and the Father of Computing. She is now 60, so older than Kelly at that time, and Kelly continues to be the Father of Computing through his ongoing work. She also noted his considerable contributions as Chair and Co-chair of the ACM Awards Committee, and his work on the Turing Award.


I will now speak to my personal interaction with Kelly.

I have a continuing series of interviews with Kelly—numbering over ten now. I am often asked, how did these interviews start? I sent a note to Kelly to see if he would consent to being interviewed. Kelly quickly replied demonstrating his inclusiveness, openness, and willingness to share.

In those interviews, I am asked which is the one, where I receive the most feedback. It’s the one about his family; there is high regard, respect, and recognition for Kelly but Kelly demonstrates this high regard, respect, and recognition for his family; this very much Illustrating Kelly’s passion, caring and humanity.

I first met Kelly at the CI