Charles Dickens, perhaps the best British novelist of the Victorian era, was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England on February 7, 1812. His happy early childhood was interrupted when his father was sent to debtors' prison, and young Dickens had to go to work in a factory at age twelve. Later, he took jobs as an office boy and journalist before publishing essays and stories in the 1830s. His first novel, The Pickwick Papers, made him a famous and popular author at the age of twenty-five. Subsequent works were published serially in periodicals and cemented his reputation as a master of colorful characterization, and as a harsh critic of social evils and corrupt institutions. His many books include Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, Bleak House, Great Expectations, Little Dorrit, A Christmas Carol, and A Tale of Two Cities. Dickens married Catherine Hogarth in 1836, and the couple had nine children before separating in 1858 when he began a long affair with Ellen Ternan, a young actress. Despite the scandal, Dickens remained a public figure, appearing often to read his fiction. He died in 1870, leaving his final novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, unfinished.
Author and television scriptwriter Anthony Horowitz was born in Stanmore, England on April 5, 1956. At the age of eight, he was sent to a boarding school in London. He graduated from the University of York and published his first book, Enter Frederick K. Bower, when he was 23. He writes mostly children's books, including the Alex Rider series and the Diamond Brothers series. The Alex Rider series is about a 14-year-old boy becoming a spy and was made into a movie entitled Stormbreaker. In 2003, he was awarded the Red House Children's Book Award for Skeleton Key. He also wrote a novel, The Killing Joke, for adults. He has created Foyle's War and Midsomer Murders for television as well as written episodes for Poirot and Murder Most Horrid. He currently lives in north London with his wife and two sons.
Matt Jones is a professor and Head of Department of Computer Science, Swansea University. His research work focuses on human-centered computing with particular emphasis on mobile and ubiquitous computing and resource-constrained communities in regions such as India and South Africa. His work in these contexts has been recognized by an IBM Faculty Award and, from 2014, by a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award. Matt has had many active collaborations and interactions with industry, NGO and Governmental stakeholders including Microsoft Research, Nokia Research and IBM Research. In his spare time he tries to live life face-on with his energetic family, and enjoys nothing more than an exhilarating early morning cycle ride to the glorious beaches of the Gower.