Steve Furber

ICL Professor of Computer Engineering

Advanced Processor Technologies research group

Steve Furber

Students should leave here bursting with enthusiasm for the subject and with ideas that will transform the world over coming decades, with capabilities that are greatly in demand with prospective employers and PhD supervisors.

The School of Computer Science at Manchester has a long history of building world-leading machines, from the world's first operational stored-program computer – the 'Baby' – through to SpiNNaker today.

I joined the School as ICL Professor in August 1990. Prior to that, my career in computing got off to a good start with my contributions to the BBC Micro and the first ARM processor both within the first 4 years. I have stayed at Manchester because my colleagues provide a supportive and friendly environment, and because the position offers the maximum freedom to pursue interesting ideas.

Research

At the moment, I'm working with a team building SpiNNaker, a computer that will ultimately incorporate a million mobile phone processors aimed at running large-scale brain models in biological real time. We hope this will contribute to the multi-disciplinary Grand Challenge to understand how brains process information.

Working in research is about going to places no-one has gone to before, and I find that journey enjoyable and exciting.

Teaching

Students should leave Manchester bursting with enthusiasm for the subject and with ideas that will transform the world over coming decades, with capabilities that are greatly in demand with prospective employers and PhD supervisors!

They can access most of the content they need in books and online, so my aim in teaching is to provide the motivation, the real-world relevance and the personal experience that makes that content worth learning. The aspect of teaching I most enjoy is seeing students make real achievements through their learning, to the point where they start to generate their own ideas and motivation.

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