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Dr. Mathai Joseph

Education: B.Sc. (Physics, 1962), M.Sc. (Physics, 1964) at the University of Bombay; Post-Graduate Diploma in Electronics at Welsh College of Advanced Technology (1965), Cardiff; Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, U.K. (1968).


Fellow, Senior Research Scientist at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai (1968-1985); Professor of Computer Science at University of Warwick, U.K. (1985-1997).

Visiting Appointments:

Visiting Professor, Carnegie-Mellon University (1980-81); Visiting Professor, Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands (1990-92); Visiting Professor, University of Warwick (1997-98); Visiting Professor, University of York, U.K. (2001-2004).


Executive Director at Tata Research Development and Design Centre, Pune and Executive Vice-President at Tata Consultancy Services (1997-2007).

Other: Member-at-large ACM Council (2008-12); Founder member ACM India Council (2009-12).

Author: Digital Republic India's Rise to IT Power, History and Memoir. This book analyses the rise of Indian computing. Interleaving history and memoir, it describes key moments and decisions which led to the slowdown in the 1960s and 1970s, and the changes in the 1980s that fuelled the ascent of the software industry to pre-eminence in what has become one of the world's most important industries. Along the way the author reflects on the nature of science, the importance of computing and the interplay of theory, experiment and technology. He discusses the wide differences in the academic perception of computing in India and the rest of the world and how it affected the growth of Indian computer science as well as the computing industry.

More details at


"The first computer I saw was in 1963. It was the TIFRAC, built at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. I was studying for an M.Sc. in Physics with Electronics at the University of Bombay (now Mumbai) and a fellow student who worked at the TIFR invited two of us to see 'The Computer'. Getting into TIFR was easy: he had told us to nonchalantly get onto the TIFR bus at its first stop. The bus took us to the back of the building and we asked our way up to his office. He looked pleased, self-important and slightly embarrassed to have us in tow as we walked towards 'The Computer Hall'. I had expected to see something vastly complex but self-explicating, that announced its capabilities to those like us who enquired. And there would be scientists waiting to tell young postgraduates all we wanted to know about the computer. What we saw instead was a room full of open racks packed with circuit modules, wires hanging out here and there and a few people too busy to answer questions. 'You want to see computer? There it is', said one as he walked away urgently. I wanted to know more but there was not even a hint I could take away to think about. If he wasn't going to tell us about the computer, I needed to find out for myself...."

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