Dr Roy Dyckhoff

Our friend and colleague Roy Dyckhoff died in hospital last month. He had been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia, which was being managed through blood transfusions. His death was however sudden and unexpected.

Roy was educated at Winchester College, before studying at King’s College, Cambridge. He undertook postgraduate study at New College, Oxford. He was appointed as a Lecturer in the Department of Pure Mathematics in St Andrews in 1975, moving to Computer Science in 1981.

Roy worked in logic and proof theory, having begun his career as a topologist and category theorist (for which one of his thesis advisors was Dana Scott). Much of his work concerned various aspects of intuitionistic logic, but he also contributed to work in programming languages, type theory, natural language processing, and model checking. He was also instrumental in changing the peal of the bells in St Salvator’s chapel, the college church of the University, which he frequently rang at graduations and other events, including the celebration of the 550th anniversary of the consecration of the chapel.

He had retired from St Andrews but retained an honorary position with us, and was a frequent visitor and seminar-goer until very recently. We’ll remember him as someone who was always ready to dive into deep mathematical or philosophical discussions, as well as being someone who could explain the essence of advanced mathematical concepts even to those with a lot less mathematical sophistication than he himself possessed. His engagement with the School and the wider academic community in Scotland and worldwide should have gone on for much longer than it did, and we’ll miss the conversations and interactions that we’ll no longer have with him.

Roy’s funeral will be held on Thursday 6 September at Kirkcaldy Crematorium at 11.45am, and plans are being developed for a Service of Thanksgiving at St Salvator’s Chapel later this year. There’s a card in the front office ready for his funeral later this week.

For those who’d like to mark his passing in some way, the family have suggested giving blood as a suitable marker. Alternatively, they are collecting for the Scottish Mountain Bothies Association, which was a charity he supported for many years.