Rod Burstall

Rod Burstall
Born November 1934 (1934-11) (age 82)
Liverpool, England
Residence Scotland, France
Nationality British
Fields Computer science
Institutions University of Edinburgh
Doctoral advisor N. A. Dudley
K. Brian Haley[1]
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)

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.[2]

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[3] 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.[1]

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.[4][5]

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


See also


  1. 1 2 Rod Burstall at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  2. Kerse, Eleanor (2002). "Ode to Rod Burstall". Formal Aspects of Computing. 13 (3–5). Springer. p. 194. doi:10.1007/s001650200007.
  3. "Rod Burstall's home page". University of Edinburgh. Retrieved Oct 31, 2012.
  4. "SIGPLAN Programming Languages Achievement Award — 2009: Rod Burstall". ACM SIGPLAN. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
  5. Wallace, Malcolm. "SIGPLAN Programming Languages Achievement Award: Rod Burstall". Vimeo. Retrieved 22 September 2012. Introduced by Philip Wadler.

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