In 1960, a Canadian from a small farm near Camrose Alberta, Ken Iverson, joined IBM armed with his PhD thesis from Harvard which outlined a math based computer language. In collaboration with Adin Falkoff, a veteran at IBM, he hand picked a team, and moved them and their families to Yorktown Heights, New York. They then put the theory of his dissertation into practice and went on to influence the course of computer history. The language became known as APL.
The original six, rumoured to be either left-handed or Canadian, included three Canadians who created the world’s first interactive computer programming language.
Of this team were three young men, Larry Breed (American), Richard Lathwell (Canadian) & Roger Moore (Canadian) who won the prestigious Grace Hopper Award for young computer professionals under the age of 35 in 1973 for their contributions. Ken Iverson himself, won the most prestigious technical award granted by the Association for Computing Machinery in 1979.
The bonds formed between this crew of 1960’s & 1970’s innovators and their families have survived over 40 years. These bonds, in fact, have extended to include to three generations. And the close knit community, with its quirky inside mathematics jokes about “nothing”, still exists today.