Career Profiles

Explore profiles of real professionals and students to learn how they got started, what they love about computing, and all about the fascinating work they do.
Eur Ing Sam Raincock

Eur Ing Sam Raincock

Director, Information Security Consultant and Expert Witness, Durham, United Kingdom

Degree(s):

BSc (Hons) – First. University of Durham
MSc (by Research). University of Durham
“Strive to study at the best university you can. Do not specialize until after your degree. Studying computer science will leave your options open for better job opportunities.”

I work as a forensic scientist providing expert services in IT, security and telecommunications cases within the UK and Ireland. This involves all types of legal matters in which I provide advice involving anything from a USB stick to cell site analysis. I also provide forensics and information security consultancy to the private sector including responding to incidents (hacking, internal issues etc.).

Information security/forensics provides a great deal of variety. Every day I am provided with problems from which I need to formulate accurate solutions which may involve writing some bespoke software or researching something I have not seen before.

I was instructed to investigate the computer evidence in a murder case. Upon examining the computer of the alleged murderer, it became apparent that there were potentially two persons using the computer since there appeared to be different types of usage at different times. I explored this hypothesis further and determined that keylogger software had been installed (software which logs the entered keystrokes from the user keyboard) correlating with a specific pattern of usage. At a later time, a second keylogger was installed which appeared to correlate with a different pattern of usage. Since the first keylogger was logging all activity, the installation of a second keylogger was known to the initial user. This ended up being the motive for the murder.

I enjoy many hobbies from windsurfing to reading. I particularly enjoy cooking and dining out in order to sample different types of foods and flavors. I also love to travel to diverse places, meeting new people and experiencing the different things that life has to offer. I like to be without a computer for a few days!

I have a West Highland White puppy who certainly keeps me on my toes. He is far too intelligent for his own good so I have to keep making up new tricks for him to learn. He’ll do anything for a treat!

Computer forensics

Mobile telephone mast – cell site analysis

My dog

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Explore profiles of real professionals and students to learn how they got started, what they love about computing, and all about the fascinating work they do.

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@ symbol
Ray Tomlinson
Ray Tomlinson

Have you ever considered that someone, at some point, was in a position to choose what symbol would be used separate the user from their location in an email address? That person, it turns out, was Ray Tomlinson, and in 1971 he chose "@". Tomlinson is credited with demonstrating the first email sent between computers on a network, and when asked what inspired him to make this selection he said, “Mostly because it seemed like a neat idea.”

After completing his Master’s degree at MIT in 1965, Ray joined the Information Sciences Division of Bolt Beranek and Newman Inc. of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Since then he has made many notable contributions to the world of network computing. He was a co-developer of the TENEX computer system that was popular in the earliest days of the Internet; he developed the packet radio protocols used in the earliest internetworking experiments; he created the first implementation of TCP; and he was the principle designer of the first workstation attached to the Internet.

Punch card from a COBOL program
Jean Sammet

Jean E. Sammet was one of the first developers and researchers in programming languages. During the 1950’s - 1960’s she supervised the first scientific programming group for Sperry Gyroscope Co. and served as a key member of the original COBOL (COmmon Business-Oriented Language) committee at Sylvania Electric Products. She also taught one of the first graduate programming courses in the country at Adelphi College. After joining IBM in 1961, she developed and directed the first FORMAC (FORmula MAnipulation Compiler). This was the first widely used general language and system for manipulating nonnumeric algebraic expressions. In 1979 she began handling Ada activities for IBM’s Federal Systems Division. Ada is a structured, object-oriented high-level computer programming language, designed for large, long-lived applications, where reliability and efficiency are paramount. Jean has a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College and an M.A. from the University of Illinois, both in Mathematics. She received an honorary D.Sc. from Mount Holyoke (1978).

Turing machine
Alan Mathison Turing
Alan Mathison Turing

Did you know that computing has been used in military espionage and has even influenced the outcome of major wars? Alan Mathison Turing designed the code breaking machine that enabled the deciphering of German communications during WWII. As per the words of Winston Churchill, this would remain the single largest contribution to victory. In addition, he laid the groundwork for visionary fields such as automatic computing engines, artificial intelligence and morphogenesis. Despite his influential work in the field of computing, Turing experienced extreme prejudice during his lifetime regarding his sexual orientation. There is no doubt that computers are ubiquitously part of our lives due to the infusion of Turing’s contributions.

MATLAB graph
Cleve Moler

Cleve Moler improved the quality and accessibility of mathematical software and created a highly respected software system called MATLAB. He was a professor of mathematics and computer science for almost 20 years at the University of Michigan, Stanford University, and the University of New Mexico. In the late 1970’s to early 1980’s he developed several mathematical software packages to support computational science and engineering. These packages eventually formed the basis of MATLAB, a programming environment for algorithm development, data analysis, visualization, and numerical computation. MATLAB can be used to solve technical computing problems faster than with traditional programming languages, such as C, C++, and Fortran. Today, Professor Moler spends his time writing books, articles, and MATLAB programs.

Listen to what Professor Moler has to say about his life’s work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IT5umwNSAxE

King's Quest
Roberta Williams

Video games immerse users in a world of high tech thrills, stunning visuals, unique challenges, and interactivity. They enable users to become a warrior princess or a gruesome ghoul, create a virtual persona, or even develop worlds that other gamers can play on. But before the games of today became reality, they were the dreams of a few innovative individuals.

Roberta Williams is considered one of the pioneers of gaming as we know it today. During the 80’s and 90’s along with husband Ken Williams through their company On-Line Systems, she developed some of the first graphical adventure games. These included such titles as Mystery House, Wizard and the Princess and the popular King’s Quest series. Williams also helped introduce more girls and women to the world of gaming by bringing games developed from a woman’s perspective to mainstream market.

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