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Three Clues to My Age

My name is Emanuel Gruengard. I was born and raised in Israel and like so many other Israelis, after finishing the high school served for three years in the army. Following that I went into the university, where I read Mathematics and Physics; not Computer Science as at the time of my studies (ah! so many years ago) there was not yet such a field. I would not specify my age, but this is a good enough clue [# 1] to approximate it.

I was really planning to become a meteorologist, which was my third major subject at the university, but because of some strange circumstances and twists of fate, I found myself in the yet unexplored world of computers. I joined IBM corporation, grew up with the company and the field: in many respects one can say that I am a self-made man in computation. 

During my career I was always associated with the technical groups of the company, specializing in software, and moving gradually from a system engineer into a manger of technical groups. Somewhere along this long journey I was placed twice (each time for several years) in the USA. At the first assignment I participated in the development of MVS (IBM's operating system for main frame computers) [Clue #2]. At the second time I was engaged in the complex task of developing support for the bi-directional languages (Hebrew, Arabic, Urdu and Parsi) in IBM products.

Another burst of unexpected events brought me back into the academic world, and I started to lecture at Bar-Ilan University, where I am (again, for quite some time) a professor of computer science.

Toward the end of my years with IBM there was yet another shift, this time to the Research Division of IBM, when I became the manager of the Scientific Center in IBM Israel Science and Technology Division.

And then I took an early (?) retirement from IBM (another clue [# 3], although less decisive, to my age), and was asked by the president of Shenkar College of Engineering & Design, whom I met by chance, to set up in that institute a Software Engineering department. This was really an exhilarating task: to set up from scratch such a department. It is now live and kicking and I am its chair.

Next to arrive was the Laureate Online Education/University of Liverpool project where I was involved from the very beginning as it started as a joined project by KIT (an Israeli company) and UoL; so again I had the good fortune to be a member of a great team that set up a new and innovative education facility.

My current interests are Operating Systems, Computer Architecture, Computer Cognitive Sciences (Neural Networks, Artificial Life), Internet Applications and Computers in Education (Distributed Education!).

Thus I continue with Bar-Ilan University, with Shenkar College and now with Laureate Online Education/University of Liverpool. I do find the prospect of Distributed Education totally fascinating, and look forward to continue with it for years to come.    

What do I do for relaxation? First and foremost; computers, as I am still thrilled with this machine/creature. I am also a "serious" astronomy hobbyist: observations, astrophotography, solar eclipse chasing (of which I saw three) and computational astronomy. Traveling to foreign countries (last count 68) is my ambrosia, reading and classical music my elixir.



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