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ROBINSON--John Alan,

(known as Alan) of Scarborough, Maine, died at age 86 of a ruptured aneurysm on August 5, 2016 following surgery for pancreatic cancer. His family was with him. Born in Halifax, England, and having served in the RAF, he attended Cambridge University, where he read classics. He received his master's degree in philosophy from the University of Oregon and his doctorate in philosophy from Princeton University in 1956. His interests thereafter focused on computers and logic. In 1963, as a visitor from Rice University in Texas to the Argonne National Laboratories, he became interested in automated reasoning, and in 1963 invented Resolution and Unification. In 1967 he became the Distinguished University Professor at Syracuse University and later Visiting Professor at Edinburgh University in Scotland. He traveled and lectured widely, receiving honorary doctorates from universities in Leuven (Belgium), Uppsala (Sweden), and Madrid (Spain). Broadly read, a talented self- taught classical pianist, he was an inspiring, entertaining, always generous conversationalist. He leaves behind Gwen Groves Robinson, his wife of 63 years; his sons, Alan G. Robinson of Sunderland, MA; Hugh P. C. Robinson and daughter Gwen Owen Robinson - both of Cambridge, UK. He also very much loved his seven grandchildren: Seigo, Phoebe, Sayako, Margot, Peter, Oliver, and Theodora.

Published in The New York Times on Aug. 17, 2016
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