Annual Peter Landin Semantics Seminar: Algebraic methods for specification and formal development of software

Monday 10 December, 6.00pm - 9.00pm

BCS, 1st Floor, The Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London, WC2E 7HA | Maps

Free to BCS Members and non BCS Members

Speaker: Professor Don Sannella, University of Edinburgh

Event details:

Peter Landin (1930 - 2009) was a pioneer whose ideas underpin modern computing. In the 1950s and 1960s, Landin showed that programs could be defined in terms of mathematical functions, translated into functional expressions in the lambda calculus, and their meaning calculated with an abstract mathematical machine. Compiler writers and designers of modern-day programming languages alike owe much to Landin's pioneering work.

Each year, a leading figure in computer science will pay tribute to Landin's contribution to computing through a public seminar. This year's seminar is entitled “Algebraic methods for specification and formal development of software” and will be given by Professor Don Sannella, University of Edinburgh.


A software module can be modelled as a many-sorted algebra consisting of a collection of sets of data values together with functions over those sets, taking the view that the correctness of input/output behaviour is all that matters. Such a module can be specified by giving properties that the functions are required to satisfy. On this simple basis, an elegant account of formal development of verified software systems from specifications of requirements can be built, which treats modular structure in a compositional way, allowing large systems to be treated by decomposition into smaller components. The fit with systems built using the functional programming paradigm is most straightforward, but the ideas generalise smoothly to other contexts.


5.15pm - Coffee

6.00pm - Welcome & Introduction

6.05pm - Peter Landin Semantics Seminar - Professor Don Sannella (University of Edinburgh)

7.20pm - Drinks Reception


Presentation slides