Obituaries: Roger Hockney

June 23, 1999

Roger Hockney died in Oxford, England, on April 14, 1999. Suffering from cancer during his last three years, he was hospitalized for most of the time since February 1999.

Hockney is well known for his contributions to the field of computer simulations (development of the PIC method), numerical solutions of Poisson's equation (the FACR algorithm), and performance analysis of supercomputers. His N-half simple performance model has been widely accepted and used by the supercomputing community for more than 15 years. He was one of the initiators of several benchmarking groups and initiatives, being a co-founder of EUROBEN and the first chairman of the PARKBENCH Committee.

After graduating from Cambridge University (UK) and receiving a PhD from Stanford University, Hockney spent the late 1960s working for NASA (Langley) and IBM (Yorktown Heights). In 1970 he became the first professor of computer science at Reading University (UK), where he created a research group in computational physics. In 1985, he took early retirement and became a consultant in parallel computation while also holding visiting professorships at both Southampton and Westminster Universities.

Hockney has many published results in numerical analysis, computational physics, and computer science. He is the author or co-author of three books: Computer Simulation Using Particles (with J.W. Eastwood, McGraw Hill, 1981; reprinted, IOPP, 1988), Parallel Computers and Parallel Computers-2 (with C.R. Jesshope, Adam Hilger, 1981; 2nd edition, IOPP, 1988), and The Science of Computer Benchmarking (SIAM, 1996). His last public lecture was a joint tutorial, "Performance Analysis, Evaluation, and Optimisation," with Tony Hey and the author in September 1998 at EuroPar'98 in Southampton.

He will be missed.

Vladimir Getov, Westminster University.


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