Peter Jackson has Passed Away


I am very sorry to convey that Peter Jackson has passed away. Below is an email sent to Thomson Reuters from their CTO.

Peter was a great friend, early customer and advisor to LingPipe. I will miss him dearly.



From James Powell, CTO Thomson Reuters

Dear Colleagues,

It is with great sadness that I must inform you that Peter Jackson, our Chief Scientist and head of R&D, died suddenly this morning.

Peter JacksonPeter was a colleague of immense talents, both professionally and personally. He started his career in academia, and after a post as a Lecturer in Artificial Intelligence at Edinburgh University in Scotland he moved to the U.S. where he went on to become Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Clarkson University, NY.

A true global citizen who was born in Barbados and educated in England, Peter also served as Visiting Professor at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory for the School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering at Singapore Polytechnic.

Peter switched from the corridors of academia to the meeting rooms of Rochester when he joined Lawyers Cooperative Publishing (LCP) back in 1995, as Lead Software Engineer for the Natural Language Group. LCP was acquired by West Group the following year.

His penetrating intelligence, allied to his outgoing and immediately likeable personality, ensured that Peter moved quickly through the ranks at Thomson; next in the West Group and then at Thomson Legal & Regulatory, where he rose to become Chief Research Scientist & Vice-President, Technology in 2005.

A lasting legacy

Peter was the obvious choice for the position of Chief Scientist when we became Thomson Reuters in 2008, and it was a role he fulfilled with exceptional results, forming a 40-strong R&D group as a corporate-wide resource, and aligning our Research & Development capabilities with the major platform and strategy initiatives of recent years.

Peter’s legacy at Thomson Reuters is significant and lasting. He oversaw the advanced technologies , such as CaRE, Concord and Results Plus, that enabled us to launch radical and successful new product platforms such as WestlawNext and PeopleMap. He was also integral to the development of our innovative Reuters Insider channel.

On top of that he represented Thomson Reuters with great professionalism — and considerable personality and panache — in the wider world of conferences, academia and professional associations. He was a great ambassador for Thomson Reuters in his role overseeing university liaison with regards to joint research projects with institutions of the caliber of MIT, NYU and CMU.

These achievements give some sense of Peter’s abilities and drive. Peter, though, had many more strings to his bow. He published three books and about 40 papers on his fields of expertise (artificial intelligence and natural language processing), and invented four US patents.

Above all, when it came to his work, Peter was proudest of the group that he built and worked with side-by-side every day.

If this wasn’t enough for one man, he was also a talented musician and a serious music fan, serving for a number of years on the Board of Directors for the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. In recent times, he traveled to Chicago, New York and Ojai to support the SPCO on tour. Many people in Eagan will remember Peter’s “Jazzkickers” band playing at employee events around campus.

He even demonstrated his guitar playing prowess in this internal technology video filmed at Joe’s Pub in NYC earlier this summer.

The many of us who worked with Peter will miss greatly his enthusiasm, the clarity of his thinking, his wisdom and his wit.

He leaves behind his wife Sandy, also a former employee here. Peter was 62.

8 Responses to “Peter Jackson has Passed Away”

  1. Ken Williams Says:

    Truly a sad time for those of us in his R&D group.

  2. daviddlewis Says:

    Oh, this is very sad! I met Peter a number of times over the years, and he was an insightful and gracious man. My heart goes out to his family and colleagues.

  3. Pat Says:

    Sad to learn about a great man in such circumstances.
    Deepest condolences to Sandy and the group

  4. Alain Says:

    A loss for the world. Deepest condolences to his wife and coworkers.

  5. Noah Smith Says:

    Peter will be greatly missed.

  6. Philip Resnik Says:

    So very, very sad to hear this. Please add my voice to those offering condolences to his colleagues and family.

  7. Seth Grimes Says:

    I’m really sorry to hear this. I saw Peter just a month or so ago. It’s sad.

  8. Alexander Murzaku Says:

    Just exchanged a couple of messages with him. Very nice man. Deepest condolences to his family and friends.

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