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Volume 17, No.3

From: Eugene McDonnellSeptember 2000

Readers of Vector might be interested in being told about the web site of Dr. Charles Brenner, a long-time and present user of APL, who has built a profession as an expert in dna analysis. He was recently interviewed by the New York Times and the story is one of many interesting things available at his web site, http://www.dna-view.com .

Brenner was the writer of the 1130 APL system in 1967 and the designer and implementer of APL’s dyadic and monadic transpose, both projects he was commissioned to do by Larry Breed while he was working at IBM’s Watson Research Laboratory in Yorktown Heights, NY. Brenner spent six years in London, earning a living by playing bridge. On returning to California he earned his Ph. D. in mathematics, in the field of number theory. He also created the beautiful boolean transpose software for STSC’s APL, and did a number of contract APL jobs at I. P. Sharp in the 80’s, including some work for me in speeding up the C code I had written for SAX, Sharp’s APL for Unix that was based on STSC’s Unix APL. His current work in dna analysis uses software written, sold, and maintained by him in STSC APL.

He has received a lot of publicity recently in helping solve a case involving the man who created and ran the DHL express mail empire, but who also sired a number of children on very young south Pacific women - when he died in a plane crash these women hoped their children would obtain a share of his estate. The story of how Brenner ironed out all the details of the claimant’s kinship with their father is fascinating.


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