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Department of Computer Science and Technology

Andrew Pitts and Jamie Gabbay (Heriot-Watt) have been selected for the 2019 Alonzo Church Award for their work on nominal techniques, begun when Jamie was a PhD student with Andrew in the Computer Laboratory in the late 1990s.


The Alonzo Church Award is for outstanding contributions to Logic and Computation. It was established in 2015 by the ACM Special Interest Group for Logic and Computation (SIGLOG), the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science (EATCS), the European Association for Computer Science Logic (EACSL), and the Kurt Goedel Society (KGS).

Andrew and Jamie are honoured for the the invention of nominal techniques, providing a highly influential mathematical model for key concepts that arise when computing with data involving atomic names. The award cites two of their papers:

  • "A new approach to abstract syntax with variable binding" by Murdoch J. Gabbay and Andrew M. Pitts, Formal Aspects of Computing 13(3):341-363, 2002
  • "Nominal logic, a first order theory of names and binding" by Andrew M. Pitts, Information and Computation 186(2):165-193, 2003.

The award will be presented at the 46th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages and Programming (ICALP 2019) in Patras, Greece, in July.

Published by Jonathan Goddard on Thursday 18th April 2019