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Image for the news item 'Jack Lang (1966)' on 29 Apr 2024

The college is sad to announce that our Bye-Fellow Jack Lang died on Tuesday 23 April after a long illness.

Jack matriculated in 1966 and had been, at various times, our Director of Studies in Computer Science and in Management Studies. He was appointed a Bye-Fellow in 2003.

Jack was a serial entrepreneur and business angel. Interested in ‘computer science and how the brain works’, his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Sciences led to a Computer Science diploma and a spell as Demonstrator in the Computer Laboratory. He left the University to found, with Professor Shon Ffowcs-Williams, the consulting company TopExpress, one of whose projects was designing some of the software for the BBC Microcomputer.

Jack also founded Electronic Share Information Ltd, which was acquired by E*Trade Inc in 1995, and was a founder of Netchannel Ltd, which was acquired in 1998 by ntl, for whom he subsequently became Chief Technologist. He was also co-founder of Raspberry Pi in 2012, which achieved its aim of putting high-performance, low-cost, general-purpose computing platforms in the hands of enthusiasts and engineers all over the world. Over 60 million computers have been sold in the last decade and the Raspberry Pi Foundation enables young people to realise their full potential through the power of computing and digital technologies. Jack  was one of the most significant figures in computing education in the UK.

He was author of ‘The High Tech Entrepreneurs Handbook’ (2002) and taught courses in Business Studies, Entrepreneurship and Ecommerce for the University of Cambridge Computer Science Laboratory. He was Entrepreneur in Residence at the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning at the Judge Business School.

Jack was a keen sourdough baker, a passionate cook and a caring owner of a very productive apple orchard. A side project was as founder (and sometime chef) of Midsummer House Restaurant, Cambridge's only Michelin starred restaurant. And in keeping with his polymath nature, having mastered the art of designing and making fireworks at a relatively young age, he also became the architect of, and long-term champion for, the Cambridge fireworks display.

He will be much missed and long remembered by many around the world.