Talk:Steve Vickers (computer scientist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Biography / Science and Academia (Rated Stub-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Biography, a collaborative effort to create, develop and organize Wikipedia's articles about people. All interested editors are invited to join the project and contribute to the discussion. For instructions on how to use this banner, please refer to the documentation.
Stub-Class article Stub  This article has been rated as Stub-Class on the project's quality scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by the science and academia work group.


``His writing style can be described as humourous yet informative, it arguably was part of some of the best technical documentation for its era."

This is a biased opinion. I'm not saying it's not correct, but it's not in the style indicative of 15:42, 14 November 2006 (UTC)


Could someone find an image please? I was going to copy the image from Steve's homepage, but clearly that's copyrighted to him. 15:42, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

You could always try e-mailing him and asking for permission, I guess. Cheers --Pak21 15:57, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
According to This and Wikipedia:Publicity photos, that's not acceptable :( someone needs to go take a picture of him.. hehe 10:30, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
I meant "Dear Dr Vickers, (standard Wikipedia spiel). Would you be prepared to license this photo (link) of you under the GFDL so we can use it on Wikipedia?". I believe there are some form letters around somewhere for doing this. Cheers --Pak21 10:38, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
I sent Dr. Vickers an email about this a couple of months ago, but have had no reply. That's a real shame because he used to be a lecturer of mine, but .... Richard W.M. Jones 22:29, 20 October 2007 (UTC)


Why was the History deleted? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

It's been integrated into the Academia section (in a more encyclopedic style). What's the problem? Cheers --Pak21 11:33, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

This page should be deleted[edit]

The person is barely notable. His academic career is similar to thousands others. Mentioning Steve Vickers in the ZX Spectrum article is enough.

Most of the information given on this page is trivia, or no secondary source is given (for instance, "Steve's main interest lies within geometric logic."). The only secondary source, an interview, is "published" on a personal web page. 11:15, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

I oppose. He is not notable for his academic career, but for his entrepreneurship in UK home computers. Of course, the article is not complete - like 95% of the other articles in WP. I will try to update the article when I can. The complete interview can be found at [1]. --Frodet 14:52, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
So do you have anything more to say about Steve Vickers than what is in the ZX Spectrum article? 17:25, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes; what is in this article. He's also notable for his work on the Jupiter ACE. --Frodet 21:40, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Strongly oppose. I agree with Frodet: Whilst Steve may not be notable for his career, his contributions towards the Jupiter ACE and ZX Spectrum are very much notable. Of course the article needs work, but most do. I find it all the more surprising that the proponent of this AFD is from within the School of Computer Science where Steve works (as demonstrated by the IP range)! talk/contribs 16:45, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

SOME COMMENTS ABOVE ARE ENTIRELY WRONG. STEVEN VICKERS IS NOW (AND HAS BEEN FOR A LONG TIME) ONE OF THE MOST NOTABLE BRITISH CONTRIBUTORS TO HIGHER MATHEMATICS. He has published and lectured widely, particularly in the fields of Category Theory, Topos Theory, Sheaf Theory and the Theory of Locales. This information is widely available on the web and elsewhere. Why not check up on your facts first? The Head of the Theoretical Physics Department (Chris Isham) at Imperial College told me that it was because of Vickers' writings that he (Chris) became interested in Topos Theory. Chris Isham was called by Lee Smolin (in "Three Roads to Quantum Gravity") the "Father of "Quantum Gravity". Chris later went on to write, with Jeremy Butterfield, some of the most important papers on Topos Theory in the interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. Such was Steve's influence. Keithbowden (talk) 07:07, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

Academia and Education sections irrelevant[edit]

All comments in the deletion discussion suggest that the information under "Academia" is not significant. Except the fact that Steve Vickers is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham, none of the information under "Academia" and "Education" is verifiable (WP:Verifiability). As this is a primary criterion for biographical information in Wikipedia (WP:Bio), these sections should be deleted (Keeping the second sentence of the article is sufficient). 17:21, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

Everything in this article is verifyable from the links at the end, including the sections you mention, according to WP:V. While his notability is not academia it is clearly relevant for the article as a whole. --Frodet 19:42, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree that the "Education" information is mentioned in the interview, but this is not so for the assertions regarding Imperial College and Open University. Information on his web page cannot be considered reliable WP:V#SELF. 23:58, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
It can be used as source according to [2]. --Frodet 06:29, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
Okay, you are right, but there is again a lot of incorrect information in the article after changes made by user DGG [3]. 14:42, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Copyright issue?[edit]

Some parts of the article are virtually identical to passages of the interview. This might be a copyright issue WP:C. For example:

  1. "gaining a degree in mathematics ... before doing his PhD at Leeds"
  2. "His first job was the adaptation of 4K ZX-80 ROM to make an 8K ROM for the ZX-81. He also wrote the manual for the ZX-81 and went on to write most of the ROM for the Spectrum, as well as assisting with the manual." 00:13, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Changes by user DGG[edit]

The modifications made by user DGG ("restored full unvandlized content", 04:17, 20 Apr 2007) are not useful at all. The following changes have only decreased the quality of the writing, by adding many linguistic mistakes.

  1. "Vikers has a degree in from King's College, Cambridge, and then a Ph.D. in mathematics" - he is not called "Vikers", "in from King's College", "has a degree ... and then a Ph.D.".
  2. "His was responsible for".
  3. "he also wrote the ZX81 manual. He wrote the ZX81 manual, and assisted with the user documentation for the ZX Spectrum.".

Some of the information added had been removed for good reasons.

  1. Steve is not the "Programme Director for Electronic and Software Engineering (ESE) at The University of Birmingham" anymore.
  2. It is neither his job description nor relevant that he "is a full-time lecturer".
  3. It is not encyclopaedic and incorrect anyway that he "teaches First Year Software Workshop".
  4. It is not relevant, not encyclopaedic, and not correct anymore, that he "is a member of the Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science research group".

It might proof prove sensible to think before adding arbitrary text to a biography, and to proofread text passages before submitting them. 14:36, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Actually, on this point I agree. I hope I have corrected all the remaining mistakes in the latest version of the article. --Frodet 19:03, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
There seems to be a dispute about what information is authentic. I took the information from his official page at the university, and i suggest that if you consider that this is not a RS, you provide some evidence otherwise. Normally it is considered reliable about such details of his career. To challenge a RS, you need other sources of better authority or reliability. It is possible that it may have been wrong or out of date, but looking at the edit history I see no reason to think so. I do not immediate restore or improve what I have done, because it is possible that you might have documentation. I do not write out of personal knowledge, but on the basis of the sources. DGG 04:29, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

The Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science research group certainly lists him as a member, with an update date of only a year ago. Given that this one of's claims is contradicted by an easily found and reasonably up to date institutional web page, and that has provided no source to back up any of his claims, I am not strongly inclined to trust him. But Frodet's edits removing some of this information from the article and cleaning up the language seem unobjectionable enough. It still states his academic affiliation and research interests; the details of how bham organize their research groups or which lower-level undergraduate courses he is teaching this semester seem less important. —David Eppstein 05:02, 21 April 2007 (UTC)