It is with great sadness that we have to announce the death
of Claire Jones in October 2005.
Claire joined Adelard in 1993 on a Teaching Company Scheme with LFCS at Edinburgh University and became a permanent employee in 1995.
Robin Bloomfield gave the following address at her funeral:
'I have worked closely with Claire for over 12 years and known her for nearly 20, as she used to demonstrate and tutor to us when we took industrial courses at Edinburgh.
'Claire contributed very significantly to the company and to its growth. When she joined we were a small team of 5 or 6 people.
'I took the opportunity of looking at what I wrote in her annual appraisal in the first few years of Claire's work:
'"Claire is a pleasure to work with: technically able, responsible articulate."
'"Claire has exceeded my high expectations in her ability to do work and her good nature."
'"...because of her ability, not shrunk from exposing to her all sorts of problems this year."
'Claire continued to develop. Adelard is a specialist company and we deal with the safety of complex systems particularly those that use computers. She took over from me the responsibility for the independent oversight of the safety of the UK Air Defence System. The work was technically demanding; she had to be strong manager often addressing problems in contractors' work; and she had to persuade and communicate her technical authority.
'Claire was one of the brightest people I have ever worked with and also one of the best people in the world at automated theorem proving. She had a tremendous intuition about how to get a computer to help you with mathematics. I remember asking for Claire's help on a problem I was stuck on, and she just took the keyboard and wham slam it was solved. We happened to be travelling to Paris at the time so she must be one of the few people to have proved theorems under the channel.
'But this was her professional life. I would also like to provide some idea of how much we enjoyed and valued Claire as a colleague and friend.
'Claire had important loves in her life: we have heard of the family.
'Her love of cats is something that stays with me. I noticed that in 1995 she mentions, in her annual statement of her achievements for the year, the importance of the kittens that have just arrived.
'And the boys. She was excited and shard with us news of the pregnancy (although the more observant had spotted the morning sickness) and I delighted in seeing her screen saver photographs chart the progress of the boys.
'Claire's intellect could be daunting at times: we would fondly talk of her brain the size of a planet. Her PhD supervisor described how she would find photocopying as difficult as proving the most challenging theorem so she would pay much attention to these easier tasks. Things would often be impossible, not enough time and 90% not done, and then all of sudden finished.
'Claire was kind. I travelled with Claire and for many years I limped badly as the arthritis got progressively worse. Claire just picked up my bags and carried them without any fuss: typical of her kindness and her physical strength (she was strongly in favour of our company policy in not having company cars and a keen cyclist).
'As her family grew and Claire successfully juggled the seeming intricate arrangements and responsibilities of child care and a job we all got to know the ins and outs of her life and her commitment to the family. And although ever busy she would always find time to chat and engage with us. I have so many nice, random images of Claire at work chatting with her tee shirt that proclaimed that behind every successful woman is a large cat.
'Claire's character shone through when she had to face her illness. It was so moving to find the optimistic and affectionate notes on file that she sent Barbara during this time.
'I would like to thank Simon for asking me to speak. I cannot do justice to the occasion, of course, but I hope that you get some idea of the affection and admiration we have for Claire. Her colleagues at Edinburgh have suggested we establish an annual lecture at the BCS in her memory: I think this is an excellent idea that I will pursue. Thank you again Simon.'