Bruce arrived in Darwin after a shortish flight from Sydney (4.5 hrs), where he stayed overnight. Before that, he had two long flights: Boston to LA (6 hrs), and LA to Sydney (15hrs!). Welcome to Australia, Bruce!
The Bruce & Dave/Dave & Bruce story goes back a long way, and indeed most of our life.
We first crossed paths, but didn’t meet, when we lived in Canterbury (Melbourne), and attended the eponymous Primary School. My mum was in hospital, and I was living with my grandmother. I then moved back to Blackburn South, and Bruce and his family moved to Box Hill South, a nearby suburb. In our final year of primary school (different schools), Bruce and I attended the Lord Somer’s Camp, and Bruce was in the bunk above mine. So, our first proper meeting. We then attended the same local high school (Blackburn South High School, or simply “Blackie South”), and became besties in around Year 9. We hung out a lot, together with Graham Cottew (who was on the trip with me last year). Bruce and I were team mates on the school (field) hockey team.
Bruce and I went to Monash University, where we studied science, and both ended up majoring in Computer Science (called Information Science then). Bruce and I did a number of camping/road trips during our time at university, braving the cold at Easter to head into the wilds of Victoria. A couple of years later – after Bruce obtained an MSc – and I worked and climbed in New Zealand – we headed to the University of Cambridge for PhD studies. Remarkably, or boringly (take your pick), we both studied Information Retrieval under C. J. (Keith) van Rijsbergen. Bruce got his PhD in the regulation 3 years (hard-working bastard), and I took about (mumble) 5 years, albeit after completing two long climbing expeditions to Greenland and the Himalayas.
We then went our separate ways, although we both continued to work in the field of Information Retrieval, with Bruce being incredibly successful and highly published and cited, and me achieving moderate success in the field.
Bruce moved to Amherst, Mass., married Pam Aselton, and had two delightful boys, Doug and Eric. I married Morna Stewart, spent a short time in Austalia, and then returned to Europe to work variously in Ireland, Scotland, and Switzerland. Our son, Duncan, was born in Glasgow, and lives in Edinburgh.
Throughout our working life, we did see one another regularly, at conferences such as the annual SIGIR Conference, and I spent a delightful 6-month sabbatical at the University of Amherst, where both Bruce and Pam gave me a truly wonderful time.
And, so, we meet again, ready for another road trip, and I am super happy that Bruce is coming along. I haven’t seen him for a few years – sadly I missed Doug’s wedding and Bruce’s farewell bash at Amherst – so we have a lot to catch up on. Let the fun begin!