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Mourning the loss

Professor Gift Siromoney passed away on March 21, 1968, after a brief illness. His tragic and untimely death has resulted in the disappearance of a much-loved teacher and a highly productive research scientist with many-faceted interests. At the time of his death, Dr. Gift Siromoney was the chairman of the Department of Statistics at the Madras Christian College, Madras. In fact, he was the founder of the Department of Statistics and the architect of the Kibble Computer Centre there. For nearly four decades, he taught and guided students and young colleagues on a wide range of topics from Statistics to Computers, Epigraphy, Art, History, Linguistics, Anthropology, and Music. He was an enthusiastic amateur photographer, painter and bird-watcher, and took much interest in nature studies.

The Madras Christian College has started a Gift Siromoney Endowment Fund to promote research and scholarly work in the areas to which Dr. Gift Siromoney himself had contributed so ably. In addition, it is proposed to publish commemorative volumes with contributions from friends, colleagues, and students in the areas in which Dr Siromoney was active. This volume is the first of such a planned series covering topics in Theoretical Computer Science. The contributions to this volume are eminent scholars well known in this field, who were also personal friends of Dr. Siromoney either as peers, colleagues, or students.

Much of the preparatory work to bring out the commemorative volume was done by Prof. (Mrs.) Rani Siromoney, who was herself the foremost collaborator with her husband in his research work in Formal Grammars and Automata Theory. As the editor of this volume, I am much indebted to Mrs. Siromoney for her untiring assistance. Both of us are extremely grateful to all the authors who so readily agreed to contribute to this memorial volume and who, also, generously agreed to our suggestion to allow the publisher's payments by way of royalties to be consolidated and credited to the Gift Siromoney Endowment Fund. We would like to express our thanks to World Scientific Publishing Co.Pte.Ltd. for the enthusiastic cooperation in bringing out this volume expeditiously.

No collection of articles can do justice to the personality of Dr. Gift Siromoney. Those of us who had known him closely over the years would continue to cherish the memory of the love and warmth of a dedicated teacher and a loyal friend.

Narasimhan R. (peer and mentor 1971-88)
Formerly: Sr. Professor, Computer Science Group, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai.
Currently: CMC Ltd, Bangalore.

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