Roy Dyckhoff (1948-2018)

Roy Dyckhoff died on the 24th of August 2018. Only a month before, at the end of July, we discussed with him details of his attendance of the Tübingen conference and possible topics of his talk. He would have talked either about the statics and dynamics of Stoic Logic (see Studia Logica, 2018) or about Syllogisms (to appear in the Bulletin of Symbolic Logic, 2018). Roy was a speaker at many conferences we organised. The picture shows him lecturing at the Conference on General Proof Theory in November 2015.


Roy Dyckhoff


From the obituary notice of the Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of St Andrews, Professor Sally Mapstone:

I am very sad to have to inform you of the death of Dr Roy Dyckhoff, of the School of Computer Science. [...]

A well-known figure in our community, Roy retired some years ago but had remained very active and retained an honorary position. He was a frequent visitor to the School and a regular participant in its academic and social life.

Roy was brought up in Cheshire, and educated at Winchester College, before studying Pure Mathematics at King's College, Cambridge. He undertook postgraduate study at New College, Oxford, after which he received a Prize Fellowship at Magdalen College, Oxford.

He was appointed as a Lecturer in the Department of Pure Mathematics in St Andrews in 1975, moving to Computer Science in 1981.

Roy worked in logic and proof theory and much of his work concerned various aspects of intuitionistic logic, but he also contributed to work in programming languages, type theory, natural language processing, and model checking. Three papers by him have been accepted this year for publication, one of which deals with aspects of Stoic logic and another with Aristotelian logic.

He was Tower Captain in St Salvator's Chapel for some years, ringing for Sunday services, graduations, weddings and other occasions and was instrumental in introducing four further bells to the tower, making a peal of six, to commemorate the 550th anniversary of the consecration of the chapel.

Roy was married to Cecilia with whom he had a daughter Livia and son Max, and two grandchildren. Latterly, he and Cecilia divided their time between St Andrews and Glengarry, north of Fort William, whose landscape and community he loved.



From the obituary notice of Dr. Stéphane Graham-Lengrand (CNRS and École Polytechnique), doctoral student of Roy's (2003-2006):

It is with a great sadness that I share the news that Roy Dyckhoff, honorary senior lecturer at the University of St Andrews, died. [...] He was both a colleague and a dear friend to many of us.

Roy graduated in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge and completed a DPhil, also in Mathematics, at the University of Oxford, before spending his career at the University of St Andrews. Despite being retired, Roy was still conducting research up until this summer, with several papers accepted for publication in the months to come. Roy was a highly respected figure in computational logic, with a particular inclination towards constructive mathematics, and made invaluable contributions to such diverse fields as topology, category theory, logic programming, structural proof theory, type theory, and the semantics of proofs, programs, and natural language.

Roy always took a genuine interest in other people's work, no matter how unconventional it may look. He saw research as a collective enterprise, conducted by a far-reaching network of friends. Whether we work in computer science, mathematics, or philosophy, many of us benefited from his erudite and nonsectarian insights, and from his gentle pastoral care of young researchers. That was definitely the case for me as a PhD student; and I know his other students feel the same way. Roy was exemplary in his care for mathematical (and linguistic) accuracy, and for always giving rather than claiming scientific credit. He knew how to set standards high whilst simultaneously being forgiving to others. His humility and more generally his approach to academia were an inspiration to us all.

Among other pursuits, Roy was an enthusiastic hiker of the Highlands and bell-ringer in his spare time, and a deeply respected member of the St Andrews community. Our thoughts are with his wife Cecilia and his two children Livia and Max.