Bio

Glynn Winskel rejoined the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory as professor in 2000. This followed 12 years as professor of computer science at Aarhus University. There he was one of a small number of researchers in Denmark to be awarded funding to head a research centre in Basic Research in Computer Science. He originally read mathematics at the University of Cambridge and mathematical logic at the University of Oxford before turning to computer science for his PhD at the University of Edinburgh (completed 1980). This was followed by a period as a Royal Society postdoctoral fellow, when he was invited by Dana Scott to join his new group at Carnegie Mellon University.

In 1984 he left Pittsburgh to take up a lectureship at the University of Cambridge, becoming reader in 1987, leaving for a professorship in Aarhus in 1988. His book `The Formal Semantics of programming languages' (MIT Press) is used internationally and available in Italian, Chinese and Japanese. He sees his research as developing the mathematics with which to understand and analyze computation, its nature, power and limitations. He is probably best known for his work generalising the methodology of domain theory and denotational semantics to concurrent computation, and as the main developer of event structures. He was awarded an Advanced Grant by the European Research Council 'Events, Causality and Symmetry---the next generation semantics' in 2011. He a member of the Academia Europaea.

Research interests

Computation today is highly distributed and interactive, often probabilistic, and sometimes based in quantum theory or biology. Traditional models fall short: they are either too low level (as with 'Turing machines') or have abstracted too early from operational and quantitative concerns (the case with domain theory, the classical foundation of denotational semantics).

A major objective pursued by Glynn Winskel has been to provide a comprehensive mathematical understanding of interaction, seeing it as the way to reconnect theories of computation with their operational roots. His distributed games arguably provide the most versatile foundation for denotational semantics we have. As a fellow at The Alan Turing Institute he will explore with others how to push semantic and logical techniques into new areas such as machine learning.