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Transversal co-founder, Prof Sir David MacKay, FRS has died

Transversal co-founder, Prof Sir David MacKay, FRS has died

It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of Transversal co-founder, Prof Sir David MacKay, FRS. David died peacefully of cancer on 14 April 2016. He was 48.

David helped in the formulation of Transversal's technology foundation and in the development of our product. David's early work in Machine Learning was at the forefront of Artificial Intelligence as typified by winning the Hopfield prize for solving "How the Brain Knows What it Knows" in 2000, and the publication of his seminal textbook Information Theory, Inference and Learning Algorithms in 2003.

David was a true polymath. After his appointment as professor of physics at Cambridge in 2003 (at just 36), which afforded him freedom to "do whatever he wanted," David set out to bring numeracy to the Climate Change debate. A global crisis that suffered from "too many adjectives and not enough numbers." This led to the publication of another seminal text book, Sustainable Energy: Without the Hot Air in 2008. The book was masterful because it empowered non-scientists to understand the arithmetic behind climate change, and led to David being appointed chief scientific adviser to the Department of Energy and Climate Change in 2009. This was also the year that David was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.

David was appointed Regius Professor of Engineering after returning to Cambridge from DECC in 2014. He was knighted for “services to scientific advice in government and science outreach” in January 2016.

David John Cameron MacKay, Transversal co-founder, physicist, mathematician and government adviser, born 22 April 1967; died 14 April 2016.


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