Tony Brooker graduated in Mathematics from Imperial College in 1945. It was here in 1947 that he first became involved with computers by building from electro-mechanical relays a multiplier unit which served as the arithmetical basis of the Imperial College Computing Engine based on the same technology. In 1949 he moved to the Computing Laboratory at Cambridge to work first on the differential analyser and subsequently on software development for the EDSAC under the influence of pioneers such as David Wheeler and Stan Gill. In 1951 he moved to Manchester to relieve Turing of the day to day running of the Manchester Mark 1. Here, he established the Mark 1 as a viable system for a whole range of users from different disciplines. More importantly he started his work on high level languages with Mark 1 Autocode, a boon to many early users. This was followed by Mercury Autocode, a contemporary of the first Fortran and finally Atlas Autocode and a compiler-compiler.
In 1967 he moved to Essex University as founding Professor of the Computing Centre where, with the late Professor Keith Bowden, he initiated (just two years after Manchester) one of the first undergraduate schemes in Computer Science that encompassed both software and hardware. Although not a personal contributor, he created the environment for research and teaching in artificial intelligence at Essex, now realised in hardware by a Robotics Laboratory, opened by Professor Mike Brady in 1995. After serving many years as faculty Dean and as a Pro-Vice-Chancellor, he retired in 1988.
Subsequently he has published a book on a data based programming language.
There is also a laboratory named after Tony in the Networks Centre building.