Personal profile

Research Interests

Algebraic specification and formal software development; correctness of modular systems; types and functional programming; resource certification for mobile code; security and static analysis. 


1982PhD Computer Science, University of Edinburgh
 Thesis title: Semantics, Imlementation and Pragmatics of Clear, a Program Specification Language
1978MS in Computer Science, University of California, Berkeley
1977BS in Computer Science, Yale University


Donald Sannella received his B.S. from Yale University in 1977, his M.S. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1978 and his Ph.D. from Edinburgh University in 1982, all in Computer Science. Since 1981 he has been employed by Edinburgh University, until 1985 as a Research Fellow at the Department of Computer Science, from 1985 to 1989 as Lecturer at the Departments of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence, from 1989 to 1998 as Reader at the Department of Computer Science and since 1998 as Professor of Computer Science in the Laboratory for Foundations of Computer Science within the School of Informatics. From January to September 1990 he was a Professor at Universitaet Bremen. From October 1992 to September 1997 he held a 5-year EPSRC Advanced Fellowship which relieved him of his teaching and administrative obligations to allow him to concentrate on research, and during 1998 he held a similar 1-year fellowship from the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

His research interests include functional languages (development of HOPE and Standard ML), algebraic specification languages (CLEAR, ASL, Extended ML, CASL), mechanised reasoning, foundations for algebraic specification and formal software development including correctness of modular systems, and applying these foundations to the practical development of modular software systems from specifications. His recent research has focused on security and static analysis with a specific emphasis on resource certification for mobile code. He is founder and CEO of Contemplate icon Contemplate Ltd, a spin-out technology company that is developing tools for programmers to improve the quality of software products.

He has published a research monograph and more than 60 papers in journals and international conferences and has held a series of grants since 1985 for research projects in the area of verification and formal development of programs, security and static analysis. He has served on the programme committee of 45 international conferences and was programme chair of ESOP'94 and track B of ICALP 2004, and general chair of CAAP/ESOP/CC'94 and ETAPS 2005 in Edinburgh. He is editor-in-chief of the journal Theoretical Computer Science (responsible for part B: Logic, Semantics and Theory of Programming) and an editor of Electronic Notes in Theoretical Computer Science. He served as chairman of the steering committee of the ETAPS conference series from its inception in 1995 until 2001, then as treasurer until 2008, then as representative of the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science. He served as Vice President of EATCS from 2008 until 2012. Sixteen Ph.D. theses have been completed under his supervision; two of these won the British Computer Society's prestigious Distinguished Dissertation award. From 1996 to 1999 he was Director of LFCS and he is a founding member of IFIP WG1.3 "Foundations of System Specification". From 2003 to 2011 he was Head of the Informatics Graduate School in Edinburgh with overall responsibility for PhD education. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.


Dive into the research topics where Don Sannella is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles