The Formal Biography
Ms Lathwell had an early start to her career in the computer operations department of a Toronto based technology company. This company established one of the worlds first private international communications networks in the 1980′s which was quickly adopted by financial institutions around the world. Thus, while pursuing a programming career Ms Lathwell developed an in-depth understanding of financial markets.
Being in the right place at the right time, Ms. Lathwell observed, first hand, the concurrent growth and development of technology and international finance. Ms Lathwell’s current project involves researching the history of APL (A Programming Language) and its descendant array processing languages (K, Q & J). APL was invented by Canadian Kenneth E. Iverson and has been used for over 50 years in industry, through the drama of successive market crashes to the evolution of forensic mathematics.
While Ms Lathwell was building her career, she also nurtured an interest in the visual arts and story telling. Armed with a BA from the University of Toronto and a certificate from the Canadian Film Centre, Ms Lathwell has launched an initiative to collect the stories of the rise, fall and rebirth of APL and the quirky minds behind this Canadian invention.
The Informal Biography
My name is Catherine Lathwell and my involvement with APL and the APL community is literally a life long experience. I am the daughter of Richard Lathwell, one of the original developers of APL recruited by IBM in 1966. Does “I’ve Been Moved” mean anything to you?
In my lifetime, with no real help from me, I’ve gone from being the weird Canadian kid in the United States with a father who has some incomprehensible job, and is therefore suspicious, to a “Geek”.
(PS – Geeks are now cool. Whew. I’m finally in. Just in the nick of time!)
Anyway, I officially started my career at age sixteen as a summer student in the Operations department of IP Sharp in Toronto in 1981. This first job evolved over the years into a full fledged career where I moved through the ranks as a Sharp APL in-house support representative, APL programmer & research and development manager with Reuters.
While I was building this career, I also nurtured a love and interest in the visual arts and story telling, graduating with distinction from the University of Toronto in Fine Arts and English Literature in 1994. Then, in 2003 I entered an exclusive post graduate programme at the Canadian Film Centre specifically designed for people, like myself, with competencies in both technology and the arts.
And during my tenure at the Canadian Film Centre, I fell in love with video and began dreaming of making a film about APL.
If you want to see some of the things I’ve been doing over the last few years:
You can watch some videos I have made at – My Videos Page
Or if you want to know how I think about art look at – My Personal Page
If you want to see the insightful article written by Guy Dixon of The Globe and Mail, about the interactive film I made while at the Canadian Film Centre see: Getting Clued into Queen Street West, The Globe and Mail, Saturday July 24, 2004. Or go to My Honours Page
If you need me to promote myself some more, let me know – this seems like enough to me.