Japanese Computer Pioneers

Takahashi NobumasaTakahashi Nobumasa

(C)Jed & Kaoru Share

Takahashi Nobumasa (Professor Emeritus of Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology (TUAT)) was born on July 1, 1933 and died on June 30, 2002. Professor Takahashi, after graduation from the Department of Mathematics, School of Science and Engineering I, Waseda University in 1957, immediately joined Hitachi Ltd, working at the Central Research Laboratory. In 1977, he became a Professor at Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology where he intensively participated in organizing the new Department of Information Engineering. In 1993, he was elected to the position of Dean of the Faculty of Engineering. On retiring from Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology in 1997, he moved to Takushoku University as a Professor of Computer Systems and became the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering there in 1999.

At Hitachi Ltd, he completed a commercial quality FORTRAN Compiler for the HITAC 103, which indeed was the first compiler produced in Japan. From 1962 on, he acted as the leader for developing the Monitor System for the HITAC 5020, a mainframe for scientific computation disigned and built by Murata Kenro and Nakazawa Kisaburo. The Monitor System was what is now known as the Operating System, which performed the continuous processing of multiple jobs, managed parallel execution of input/output jobs with the main computational jobs, provided parallel processing of many jobs, and so on. This computer was installed at the Computer Centre of the University of Tokyo as its initial machine in 1965. The Operating System proved multiple parallel processing so successfully that it seriously rivaled the IBM OS/360. Following this, Takahashi's group went on to design another Operating System for the virtual memory HITAC 5020 at almost the same time when MULTICS was being developed at MIT.

The education and discipline of his students were ardent missions of Professor Takahashi. When he was recruited to the Department of Information Engineering, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology in 1977 to establish the department, he developed and challenged the new style of computer science education, emphasizing computer principles using the EDSAC architecture of Cambridge University, and clarifing programming philosophy by designing the OS/omicron with students. Even after his moving to Takushoku University in later years, his passion was never quenched; his enthusiasm for teaching computer science was not limited to within the University. His activities in the Information Processing Society greatly improved university education levels in the field of Informatics in the country. When he designed the standard curricula J90 and J97 in Computer Science, he directed the discussions as the chair of the IPSJ Education Committee. He then became the first chair of the Accreditation Committee of the Society such that the IPSJ became the most active one in JABEE accreditation movement.

1974-1976 IPSJ Director
1993-1995 IPSJ Auditor
1996-1998 IPSJ Vice President
2000 IPSJ Honorary Member

(Masuda Takashi, Wada Eiiti)