Computing and Cultural Heritage (JOCCH)


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In Memoriam


David Arnold, MA, PhD, FBCS, CEng, CITP

Professor David Arnold, the founding Editor in Chief of ACM JOCCH, died suddenly on the evening of Tuesday 25th October at the end of a game of Fives (a handball game), a sport he had played since at least his undergraduate days.

David’s career spanned many realms. He was involved in over 45 years of research in the design of interactive computer graphics systems and their application in architecture, engineering, cartography, scientific visualisation and over the past 18 years on cultural heritage. David was the founder of the Cultural Informatics Research Group in 2002, and he remained its director until his retirement in Spring 2016. David’s vision was of a multi- and inter-disciplinary research group which could provide academic research in support of the cultural heritage sector.  Without any doubt, he can be considered to be one of the very few pioneers of this domain, contributing personally to the consolidation of visual media technologies as a main ingredient of Digital Humanities. David was never a lone-researcher, he was always a team player and an excellent project coordinator, and he would himself doubtless acknowledge the roles of many other players in bringing an initial glimpse of a vision to the healthful state this field is in today.

David was educated at the University of Cambridge and had an MA in Engineering and Computer Science and a PhD in Architecture. He subsequently spent 24 years at the University of East Anglia and 14 years at the University of Brighton. At Brighton he was Dean of the Faculty of Management and Information Sciences and later the University’s Director of Research Initiatives and Dean of the Brighton Doctoral College all whilst simultaneously being the director of the Cultural Informatics Research Group.

But it was David’s impact on the cultural heritage community for which he was best known. David was co-ordinator of the EPOCH Network of Excellence under the EU’s Framework 6 programme (FP6), involving 95 partners. He contributed to the creation of the VAST workshop series. More recently he coordinated 3D-COFORM, a large scale integrating research project under FP7.  He was also past Chair of the European Association for Computer Graphics - Eurographics.

In the spring of 2006, David Arnold started to develop his vision for a new journal in the area of computing and cultural heritage. David envisaged a journal which reported technical developments with a genuine relevance to the cultural heritage sector. A couple of years later the first volume of JOCCH was released with David as Editor in Chief.

With so many roles David touched the lives of many. David was amazingly generous, had a huge sense of humour and always displayed sheer kindness to others. We truly enjoyed working with him and we will miss him greatly. 

Roberto Scopigno, Karina Rodriguez Echavarria


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