Posted on Thursday 8th August 2013
BSc Mathematics, (1975)
I was educated at Plympton, King's Norton (came top in the 2nd year and won 2nd year prize), and Ilkley Grammar Schools. In 1968, I was one of the prize winners of a short-story writing competition, run through the Puffin Post, the prize of which was three days at Alderley Edge, Cheshire, with the author Alan Garner (Weirdstone of Brisingamen, Moon of Gomrath, Elidor & The Owl Service, amongst others).
Went on to study Maths at Birmingham University (Edgbaston). Came First in the First Year, Second in the Second Year, and, I only found out in 2005, Third in my Finals. Birmingham, certainly at the time, was probably the Fifth University in the Country after Manchester, UMIST, Oxford and Cambridge. When I graduated in 1975, at the age of 21, what my standing as a Mathematician, in the whole Country, was, I can only guess!
I moved into student 'digs' in Moseley, in my Final Year. Attached my (uncompleted) drawing of that, from the back.
Had mental problems after graduation. Only survived my first job at Marconi Elliott (Rochester) for four months. Stuck to my guns and joined Sperry Gyroscope, Bracknell, (taken over by B.Ae. in 1982) in March of 1978.
On 18-month Graduate Training Scheme (approved by EITB), put on Monte Carlo simulation of Mine Hunting Scenario. Totally analysed it statistically, but my predictions didn't seem to match the behaviour. It was only on leaving this part of my training, that they discovered that their random number generators were not coming up with means and standard deviations (spread around the mean) that the manufacturers specified. On finding the true means and standard deviations, my predictions agreed perfectly with the simulated behaviour. They were able to plot definitive graphs of the behaviour, as the parameters varied, and I saved them 1000's of computer hours.
On another part of my training, put on analysing a Russian Aero device with relays in it. It was only recently, on studying a Maths manual, I discovered a branch of Mathematics called 'Reliability Analysis'. I found I had independently performed a Reliabilty Analysis of the circuit. They didn't understand it, shoved it in a drawer, where, (I heard later), someone found it, and claimed it as his own, to try to hold on to his job.
Also spent time at Plymouth with Mk. 19 and 23 Gyros, joined the Dartmoor Ramblers and went Mirror dinghy sailing off Drake's Island.
Did Drawing Office Practice Training too.
Joined Image Processing Section of R & D, in the early days when you needed a 'framestore' to hold the image (1980).
Developed AGC Algorithm, an 'edge-walking bug', a method of confirmation and deconfirmation of 'tracks', which I totally analysed statistically (as a random walk), and produced my 'magnum opus' in 1984 on a method called the S.S.D.A. One hundred pages of Maths, which they didn't understand, slapped a 'Confidential' sticker on, and stuck in a drawer, where it probably remains to today.
Also in 1984 combined two papers on Texture Measures and a Classification Method to produce a Texture Classification Algorithm. Left the Department, and another person took it over, got a 98% success rate from it, and based his whole career on it. On average, that meant, in a 7x7 pixel 'object' on the screen (tiny), on average it mis-classified about one pixel. It was at least 10-15 years ahead of its time. They hadn't developed a theory of 'Textures', until, at least, 1994. Now there is a whole Science of Textures.
Joined the Computer Services Dept. in 1985, learnt structured COBOL programming in record time, and wrote a report-producing suite of batch and on-line programs (custom design reports on-line) that was regularly producing 150 timed (weekly and monthly) reports a week, which went down to Plymouth, when they closed at Bracknell, and was finally removed from the computer in 1998, eleven years after I had completed it.
Also suite of raw COBOL 'pretty printing' and structure-diagram producing programs. B.Ae. Bracknell was closed down by mid 1990. I left at the end of 1989.
Got another job with RISL at Kingston and Henley - team 'migration' work (converting programs from one computer to another) for Provincial and TSB, before finally being made redundant in 1992.
Since then I have written over 80 poems, a novel in 1993, (which I finally got published in 2010 - "The Hammer of Thor" - go to www.martindkendall.com), over 100 pieces of software (both Acorn and IBM), and two web sites in raw HTML. (They are:- www.martinkd.freeuk.com and www.leaf.mindcraft.freeuk.com)
I spent 20 years over a BBC Basic to Acorn ANSI C Translator, using a Bison (GNU Yacc clone) grammar for BBC Basic, a language that had no formal grammar in mind. My Dad said it was equivalent to writing a program to translate from pure Glaswegian into Latin.
Have also joined an Art Class and produced several reasonable pencil and watercolour drawings.