I well remember my arrival at Caltech on a sunny October morning in 1970. Fresh from the University of Oxford where even graduate students at that time wore ties and shirts, I was unsure what to wear for my first meeting with Murray Gell‐Mann. I gambled, wrongly, on a suit, and arrived at the office of the theory group secretary, Julie Curcio, feeling more and more overdressed and as if I had a large label dangling from my collar saying “New PhD from Oxford.” I had seen Gell‐Mann once before in England but was unsure if the bearded individual dressed in an open‐necked shirt and sitting in Julie's office was indeed the eminent professor, A moment after I had introduced myself, my doubts were dispelled by the man putting out his hand and saying “Hi, I'm Murray.” This episode illustrates only a small part of the healthy culture shock I experienced in California. Six years in Oxford had left me used to calling my professor “Professor Dalitz, sir.” At that time, I would certainly not have dared to address Richard Dalitz as “Dick.”
A ‘new’ set of lectures—on computation—by one of the more colorful characters in modern physics, gives rise to these reminiscences by an Englishman in Richard's court.