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Rod Burstall

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Nationality  British
Name  Rod Burstall

Role  Computer scientist
Fields  Computer Science
Institutions  University of Edinburgh
Doctoral advisor  N. A. Dudley K. Brian Haley
Doctoral students  Thorsten Altenkirch (1993) Raymond Aubin (1976) John Darlington (1972) Martin Feather (1979) Healfdene Goguen (1994) Mike Gordon (1973) Masahito Hasegawa (1997) Thomas Kleymann (1998) Zhaohui Luo (1990) Conor McBride (1999) James McKinna (1992) J Strother Moore (1973) Alan Mycroft (1982) Gordon Plotkin (1972) Randy Pollack (1995) Brian Ritchie (1988) David Rydeheard (1982) Don Sannella (1982) Makoto Takeyama (1995) Rodney Topor (1975)
Books  Computational Category Theory
Residence  Scotland, United Kingdom, France
Similar People  Don Sannella, Gordon Plotkin, Donald Michie

Rodney Martineau "Rod" Burstall (born 1934) is a British computer scientist and one of four founders of the Laboratory for Foundations of Computer Science at the University of Edinburgh.



Burstall studied physics at the University of Cambridge, then an M.Sc. in operational research at Birmingham University. He worked for three years before returning to Birmingham University to earn a Ph.D. in 1966 with thesis titled Heuristic and Decision Tree Methods on Computers: Some Operational Research Applications under the supervision of N. A. Dudley and K. B. Haley.

Burstall was an early and influential proponent of functional programming, pattern matching, and list comprehension, and is known for his work with Robin Popplestone on POP, an innovative programming language developed at Edinburgh around 1970, and later work with John Darlington on NPL and David MacQueen and Don Sannella on Hope, a precursor to Standard ML, Miranda, and Haskell. In 2009, he was awarded the ACM SIGPLAN Programming Language Achievement Award.

Burstall retired in 2000, becoming Professor Emeritus, and now spends most of his time in Scotland and France.


  • R. M. Burstall "Programming in POP-11", May 1971, University of Edinburgh Press.
  • A. Bundy, R. M. Burstall "Artificial Intelligence: An Introductory Course" University of Edinburgh Press 1980.
  • D. E. Rydeheard and R. M. Burstall "Computational Category Theory", Prentice-Hall 1988, ISBN 978-0131627369.
  • References

    Rod Burstall Wikipedia

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