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University of York honours 11 for their contribution to society

Posted on 14 July 2015

The University of York will this week award honorary degrees to authors, scientists, an educationist, influential members of the Yorkshire community and Britain’s most senior woman judge.

They are among 11 people to receive honorary doctorates at the University’s graduation ceremonies on 15, 16, 17 and 18 July.

Every year, the University confers honorary degrees on people who have made a significant contribution to society. Honorary graduates are selected from nominations by members of the University and often have existing links with academic departments or are York alumni.

Professor Wolfgang Schmidt


Professor Wolfgang Schmidt

Professor Wolfgang Schmidt has been a world expert in number theory for over 50 years. He has made monumental contributions to areas such as the geometry of numbers, normality of numbers and the theory of uniform distribution. Professor Schmidt is one of only two mathematicians to have been awarded the Austrian Decoration for Science and Art and is one of only three mathematicians who have been invited to address the International Congress of Mathematicians on three occasions. The Schmidt Subspace Theorem and the axiomatic formulation of Schmidt Games are examples of his creativity and vision that are still influencing current research.

He received the Cole Prize of the American Mathematical Society in 1972, the Humboldt Prize in 1986 and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the Polish Academy of Science and a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society. Professor Schmidt studied mathematics at the University of Vienna, where he received his PhD in 1955. Since 1960, he has held a chair in Mathematics at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he is now Professor Emeritus.

Dr David Braben


Dr David Braben

Dr David Braben is a leading figure in the UK computer games industry. A radical innovator in game design, he co-wrote Elite, whose sprawling open-world game-play and classic science-fiction setting made it a cult hit in the 1980s. It helped to create the UK games industry, which now has an annual turnover of £3 billion.

Educated at Jesus College, Cambridge, David Braben is a Fellow of both the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Institution of Engineering and Technology. He is CEO of Frontier Developments and sits on the BAFTA Games Board. He also chairs the Government Skillset board for approval of University courses.

In May 2011, David Braben announced a new prototype computer, Raspberry Pi, mounted on a printed-circuit board not much bigger than a credit card, and intended to stimulate the teaching of basic computer science in schools. Since then, more than 5,000,000 Raspberry Pis have been sold. The initiative came from the Raspberry Pi Foundation. The charity, of which David Braben is a trustee, aims to promote the study of computer science and to put the fun back into learning computing.

Professor John Stankovic


Professor John Stankovic

Professor John (Jack) Stankovic has an international reputation as the father of Real-Time Systems research and is credited with the phrase ‘realtime is not fast’. He was also central to defining research in the wireless sensor net area which, in turn, led him into the study of Wireless Health, developing the use of wireless technologies in healthcare and medical research to benefit patient care and quality of life as well as reducing costs.

Professor Stankovic received his PhD from Brown University before serving on the faculty of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He became BP America Professor and Chair of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Virginia in 1997. Professor Stankovic is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery and served on the Computing Research Association Board of Directors for nine years. He currently serves on the National Academy’s Computer Science Telecommunications Board. He was co-founder of the International Journal on Real-Time Systems and Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Computing.

Professor Stephen Emmott


Professor Stephen Emmott

Professor Stephen Emmott has led Microsoft’s research in computational science since 2004, establishing the Computational Science Laboratory and research units of collaborating groups and scientists worldwide. He gained a BSc in Psychology at the University and a PhD at the Centre for Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience at the University of Stirling. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the AT&T Bell Laboratories in the USA, before establishing and leading NCR Corporation’s Advanced Research Laboratory. He is a Visiting Professor of Biological Computation at University College London, Visiting Professor of Computational Science at the University of Oxford, and a Distinguished Fellow of the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts.

Antony Beevor


Antony Beevor

Antony Beevor is an historian and author whose books have sold more than six million copies and appeared in over thirty foreign editions. Educated at Winchester and Sandhurst, he was a regular officer with the 11th Hussars before leaving the Army to write. His books include Inside the British Army; Stalingrad; Berlin: The Downfall 1945; The Battle for Spain; D-Day: The Battle for Normandy and, most recently, The Second World War. He has won the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction, the Wolfson History Prize, the Hawthornden Prize for Literature, the La Vanguardia Prize for Non-Fiction, and has received the Longman-History Today Trustees’ Award, the Prix Henry Malherbe in France and the Westminster Medal from the Royal United Services Institute.

A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Antony Beevor was made a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in 1997. He succeeded Philip Pullman as Chairman of the Society of Authors from 2003 to 2005.

Artemis Cooper


Artemis Cooper

Artemis Cooper is a biographer and writer, whose books include Writing at the Kitchen Table: The Authorized Biography of Elizabeth David, and the acclaimed biography of travel writer Patrick Leigh Fermor. She has published books covering a wide range of mid-20th-century social and political history, including Cairo in the War, 1939–45 and Paris after the Liberation, 1944–49; while Watching in the Dark: A Child’s Fight for Life tells of her daughter’s childhood illness and recovery.

Her work as an editor includes Mr Wu and Mrs Stitch: The Letters of Evelyn Waugh and Diana Cooper, and The Broken Road, the last volume of Patrick Leigh Fermor’s trans-European trilogy. Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure was published in 2012, shortlisted for the Costa Biography Prize and serialised on BBC Radio 4. Writing for the Independent, Barnaby Rogerson wrote that ‘Artemis Cooper’s funny, wise but totally candid biography reveals Leigh Fermor to be an adventurer through and through.’

Allan Goodman


Allan Goodman

Dr Allan E Goodman is President and CEO of the Institute of International Education (IIE), the leading not-for-profit organisation in the field of international educational exchange and development training. IIE conducts research on international academic mobility and administers the Fulbright program sponsored by the US Department of State, as well as over 200 other corporate, government and privately-sponsored programmes. The Institute’s Scholar Rescue Fund also rescues scholars threatened by war, terrorism and repression.

A founding member of the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Dr Goodman was previously Executive Dean of the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He has a PhD from Harvard, an MPA from the John F Kennedy School of Government, and a BSc from Northwestern University. He has awards from Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, South Florida and Tufts universities, and the Légion d’honneur from France. In 2012, Dr Goodman was awarded the inaugural Gilbert Medal for Internationalisation by Universitas 21.

Brenda Hale, Baroness Hale of Richmond


Brenda Hale, Baroness Hale of Richmond

Brenda Hale, Baroness Hale of Richmond, is Deputy President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and this country’s most senior woman judge. She was the first woman and the youngest person to be appointed a Law Commissioner, the second woman appointed to the Court of Appeal, and the first and only female Lord of Appeal in Ordinary.

Born in 1945, Baroness Hale grew up in Richmond, Yorkshire, and was educated at Girton College, Cambridge. From 1966 to 1984 she taught Law at the University of Manchester, also practising for a short time as a barrister. Appointed a Recorder and Queen’s Counsel in 1989, she became a judge in the Family Division of the High Court in 1994. She is also Chancellor of the University of Bristol and Visitor of Girton College. In 2013, she was named the fourth most powerful woman in the UK by BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.

James Dugdale, The Lord Crathorne, KCVO


James Dugdale, The Lord Crathorne, KCVO

Lord Crathorne is a former member of University Court, former Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Arts and Heritage Group at Westminster.

He was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was a member of the Footlights and a jazz drummer. He worked at Sotheby’s before setting up a fine art consultancy, and has lectured extensively in America, Australia and New Zealand. He helped establish Cliveden as a hotel and wrote Cliveden: The Place and the People. He is a keen photographer and co-author of Parliament in Pictures. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, the Royal Society of Arts, and a Knight of the Venerable Order of Saint John. He was appointed Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in 2013 and made an Honorary Freeman of the City of York in 2015.

Amanda Nevill


Amanda Nevill

Amanda Nevill, Chief Executive of the British Film Institute, joined the BFI in 2003 and has led its complete transformation into a major organisation valued by the UK industry and recognised as influential internationally. Amanda Nevill’s great focus is on nurturing the next generation of filmmakers and audiences. She pioneered the development of the VOD platform BFI Player, launched the BFI Film Academy and BFI Film Audience Network across the UK, transformed BFI Southbank into one of London’s coolest arts venues and ensured the BFI London Film Festival is one of the most significant film festivals in the world.

Before the joining BFI, she was Head of the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television (National Media Museum) for nine years, also serving as one of the Executive Directors of the National Museum of Science and Industry. Before that she was CEO of the Royal Photographic Society. Amanda Nevill is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society and Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts. She holds an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Bradford University and an Honorary Fellowship from Bradford College.

The Very Reverend Vivienne Faull


The Very Reverend Vivienne Faull

Vivienne Faull is an Anglican priest, the first female provost in Church of England history and Chairman of the Association of English Cathedrals. Educated in Chester and Saint Hilda’s College, Oxford, she taught with the Church Mission Society in North India before training for ministry at Saint John’s College, Nottingham, and Nottingham University.

First serving as a Deaconess in Liverpool, she became Chaplain, then Fellow, of Clare College, Cambridge. Beginning cathedral ministry as Chaplain at Gloucester Cathedral, in 1994 she moved to become Canon Pastor, and later Vice Provost, at Coventry Cathedral. Appointed Dean of Leicester in 2002, she then became Dean of York in 2012.

Serving on the English Anglican Roman Catholic committee for ecumenical conversations, she is one of eight women elected to participate in the Church of England House of Bishops. In 2014, Dean Faull received an honorary doctorate from the University of Gloucestershire for her outstanding contribution to the church and her work for the equality of women.

Further information:

  • Professor Wolfgang Schmidt will be presented for his honorary degree by Professor Sanju Velani, from the Department of Mathematics on 15 July in Ceremony One at 9.30am.
  • Dr David Braben will be presented for his honorary degree by Professor Peter Cowling, of the Department of Computer Science, on 15 July in Ceremony Two at 12 noon.
  • Amanda Nevill will be presented for her honorary degree by Professor Duncan Petrie, of the Department of Theatre, Film and Television on 15 July in Ceremony Three at 3.30pm
  • Antony Beevor will be presented for his honorary degree by Dr Shane O’Rourke, of the Department of History, on 16 July in Ceremony Four at 9.30am.
  • Artemis Cooper will be presented for her honorary degree by Dr Helen Smith, of the Department of English and Related Literature, on 16 July in Ceremony Five at 12 noon.
  • Professor Stephen Emmott will be presented for his honorary degree by Professor Peter Thompson, of the Department of Psychology, on 16 July in Ceremony Six at 3.30pm.
  • Dr Allan Goodman will be presented for his honorary degree by Professor Sultan Barakat, of the Post-War Reconstruction and Development Unit, on 16 July in Ceremony Six at 3.30pm.
  • The Lord Crathorne will be presented for his honorary degree by Dr Anthony Geraghty, of the Department of History of Art, on 17 July in Ceremony Seven at 9.30am.
  • Baroness Brenda Hale will be presented for her honorary degree by Professor Caroline Hunter, of the York Law School, on 17 July in Ceremony Eight at 12 noon.
  • The Very Reverend Dr Vivienne Faull will be presented for her honorary degree by the Rev Dr David Efird, of the Department of Philosophy, on 17 July in Ceremony Nine at 3.30pm.

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