Peter Buneman

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Peter Buneman
Born Oscar Peter Buneman
1943 (age 70–71)
Residence Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Citizenship British
Nationality British
Fields Computer Science
Alma mater Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge[2]
University of Warwick
Thesis Models of Learning and Memory (1970)
Doctoral advisor Christopher Zeeman[3]
Doctoral students
  • Hassan Aït Kaci
  • Wenfei Fan
  • Leonid Libkin
  • Amihai Motro
  • Rishiyur Nikhil
  • Atsushi Ohori
  • Limsoon Wong[3]
Known for
Notable awards

(Oscar) Peter Buneman MBE FRS FRSE (born 1943) is a British computer scientist who works in the areas of database systems and database theory.[7][8][9][10][11][12][13]


Buneman was educated at the University of Cambridge, where he was awarded a Bachelor of Arts while studying the Cambridge Mathematical Tripos from Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. Buneman went on to study at the University of Warwick, where he received his PhD in 1970.[3]


Following his PhD, Buneman worked briefly at the University of Edinburgh, followed by a professorship of computer science at the University of Pennsylvania, which he held for several decades. In 2002, he moved to the University of Edinburgh, where he built up the database research group. He is one of the founders and the Associate Director of Research of the UK Digital Curation Centre,[1] which is located in Edinburgh.

Buneman is known for his research in database systems and database theory, in particular for establishing connections between databases and programming language theory[14] and introduced monad-based query languages for nested relations and complex object databases[15] He also pioneered research on managing semi-structured data,[16][17] and, recently, research on data provenance, annotations, and digital curation.

In computational biology, he is known for his work on reconstructing phylogenetic trees[18] based on Buneman graphs, which are named in his honour.

Awards and honours[edit]

Buneman is a Fellow of the Royal Society, fellow of the ACM, a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and has won a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award. He has chaired both flagship research conferences in data management, SIGMOD (in 1993) and VLDB (in 2008), as well as the main database theory conference, PODS (in 2001).

Buneman was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to data systems and computing.[19] His nomination for the Royal Society reads

Personal life[edit]

Buneman is the son of physicist Oscar Buneman.


  1. ^ a b Rusbridge, C.; Buneman, P.; Burnhill, P.; Giaretta, D.; Ross, S.; Lyon, L.; Atkinson, M. (2005). "2005 IEEE International Symposium on Mass Storage Systems and Technology". p. 31. doi:10.1109/LGDI.2005.1612461. ISBN 0-7803-9228-0.  |chapter= ignored (help)
  2. ^ "BUNEMAN, Prof. (Oscar) Peter". Who's Who 2014, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2014; online edn, Oxford University Press. (subscription required)
  3. ^ a b c Peter Buneman at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  4. ^ Buneman, P.; Khanna, S.; Wang-Chiew, T. (2001). "Database Theory — ICDT 2001". Lecture Notes in Computer Science 1973. p. 316. doi:10.1007/3-540-44503-X_20. ISBN 978-3-540-41456-8.  |chapter= ignored (help)
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^ ACM fellowship citation:
  7. ^ Peter Buneman from the ACM Portal
  8. ^ List of publications from the DBLP Bibliography Server
  9. ^ List of publications from Microsoft Academic Search
  10. ^ Peter Buneman from the Scopus bibliographic database.
  11. ^
  12. ^ Atkinson, M. P.; Buneman, O. P. (1987). "Types and persistence in database programming languages". ACM Computing Surveys 19 (2): 105. doi:10.1145/62070.45066. 
  13. ^ Winslett, M. (2009). "Peter Buneman speaks out on phylogeny, the integration of databases and programming languages, curated databases, british plumbing, the value of talking to users, when to ignore the literature, and more". ACM SIGMOD Record 38 (2): 42. doi:10.1145/1815918.1815928. 
  14. ^ Buneman, P.; Davidson, S.; Hillebrand, G.; Suciu, D. (1996). "A query language and optimization techniques for unstructured data". ACM SIGMOD Record 25 (2): 505. doi:10.1145/235968.233368. 
  15. ^ Buneman, P.; Naqvi, S.; Tannen, V.; Wong, L. (1995). "Principles of programming with complex objects and collection types". Theoretical Computer Science 149: 3. doi:10.1016/0304-3975(95)00024-Q. 
  16. ^ Buneman, P.; Davidson, S.; Fernandez, M.; Suciu, D. (1997). "Database Theory — ICDT '97". Lecture Notes in Computer Science 1186. p. 336. doi:10.1007/3-540-62222-5_55. ISBN 978-3-540-62222-2.  |chapter= ignored (help)
  17. ^ Abiteboul, Serge; Buneman, Peter; Suciu, Dan (2000). Data on the Web: From Relations to Semistructured Data and XML. Morgan Kaufmann. ISBN 155860622X. 
  18. ^ Peter Buneman (1971), "The recovery of trees from measures of dissimilarity", in Hodson, F. R.; Kendall, D. G. & Tautu, P. T., Mathematics in the Archaeological and Historical Sciences, Edinburgh University Press, pp. 387–395 .
  19. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60367. p. 15. 29 December 2012.