Elected: 1969
Discipline: Informatics, Mathematics and Statistics
Professor Donald Michie FRSE
Professor Donald Michie and his former wife Dame Anne McLaren, distinguished scientists in separate fields that overlapped at one point, have died together in a car accident; Donald was 83.

He made contributions of crucial international significance in three distinct fields of endeavour. During the second world war, he developed code-breaking techniques which led to effective automatic deciphering of German high-level ciphers. In the 1950s, he worked with Anne on pioneering techniques which were fundamental in the development of in vitro fertilisation. Donald subsequently became one of the founders of the field of artificial intelligence, an area to which he devoted the remainder of his academic career. It was within this field that I came to know Donald as an inspirational supervisor of my PhD at Edinburgh – not only insightful, forceful and even heroic, but possessing a wicked sense of humour.

Donald was born in Rangoon. He attended Rugby school and was awarded an open scholarship to study classics at Balliol College, Oxford, in 1942.

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