ALFRED GEORGE DALE
Professor Alfred George Dale, former chairman of the Department of Computer Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin, succumbed to Alzheimer’s disease on May 5, 2009, at the age of 82. He is survived by his wife, Nell (also a retired member of the Department of Computer Sciences); his children Judith, June, Susan, Robert, and Sarah; grandchildren Jimmie, Kate, Alex, Becca, Lila, Christopher, John Robert, and Kit; great-granddaughter Sage, and former wife, Elizabeth Dale.
Al Dale was born in Stroke-on-Trent, England, in 1926. He graduated from Exeter College, Oxford in 1951, and came to the United States on a Smith-Mundt Fellowship to study at The University of Texas in 1953, where he was first employed as lecturer and assistant professor of business statistics. While employed in that capacity, Dr. Dale received an M.B.A. (1953) and Ph.D. (1961).
He became chief of applications and theoretical groups at the Linguistics Research Center for two years. When the computer science department formed in 1966, he was one of its founding members.
Al supervised nine dissertations in the then new field of computer science (CS), and he served on countless other dissertation and master committees. He made innovative contributions to the newly-formed area of database management systems in general, and parallel database machines in particular, from the mid-1960s through the late-1980s.
During his long and distinguished career, he also taught in the School of Information, served as a research scientist at the Computation Center, and was associate director of the Institute for Computing Science and Computer Applications. Al provided wise leadership when he twice served as chairman of the CS department (1979-1983, 1991-92). He was closely involved in bringing the Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation (MCC) to Austin in the mid-1980s. He retired in 1992 as regents professor emeritus. He then went on to found and direct the Software Quality Institute until 1996.
In addition to his distinguished career at UT, Al had many other significant accomplishments. Al was one of the co-founders of MRI Systems Corporation, one of the first software companies in Austin. This led to the development of a highly successful commercial database system, System 2000. He was a technical advisor for the United Nations in Bratislava and spent almost three years as Director of the United Nations Development Program's International Computer Education Center in Budapest, Hungary. He reviewed UNDP computing research programs in Israel, the Philippines, and India. He was a National Science Foundation representative to the Soviet Academy of Sciences in the Collaborative U.S.-U.S.S.R. program on Scientific and Technical Cooperation in the Field of Applications of Computer to Management.
The Department of Computer Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin is among the leading departments in the country. The department, the University, and the larger computer science and technology community owe a large debt of gratitude to Dr. Dale’s service and leadership. He will be missed.
William Powers Jr., President
The University of Texas at Austin
Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The General Faculty
This memorial resolution was prepared by a special committee consisting of Professors James C. Browne (chair), Don S. Batory, and E. Allen Emerson.