Remembering Professor Jon Oberlander

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You will be aware of the tragic news that our friend and colleague Professor Jon Oberlander died suddenly on Tuesday morning. This has come as a terrible shock to everyone at Design Informatics, the University and the world of computer science. Jon was a both a brilliant academic and a wonderful mentor to us all. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

For those who were taught by him, you’ll remember the energy and knowledge that he brought to any subject. His personal manner and calm approach to thinking through creative and technical problems was an inspiration to us all, and of course the conversations always led to an enlightened perspective upon matters. For the many of us that worked with him on projects and events, he was a vital part of the Design Informatics voice. He was the most eloquent of speakers, and his knowledge and wisdom allowed so many of us to connect the arts, design and culture to computer science and artificial intelligence.

Jon was present at the very beginning of Design Informatics, and he helped forge what has proven to be an incredibly tight and inspirational family. He changed our lives and shaped the future of interdisciplinary research and practice in the University, and across the city forever.

We do not yet know how Jon's family intends to mark his passing. Until we do we would like to ask that we all respect his family's privacy at this difficult time. If you are in Edinburgh, The School of Informatics is putting together a (physical) book of recollections and you may be able to leave a message there.

The family have asked me to collect any digital media archives (image, sound and/or video) that people may have of Jon. Perhaps it’s an image from an event, or a recording of a lecture. If you feel you have something that they might cherish, please email - or if it is in the public domain then add it to this Google document 

Best wishes

Chris Speed and everyone at Design Informatics
Image: Chris and Jon getting married on the blockchain at the Design Informatics Pavilion in August 2016