Lawrence Paulson

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Lawrence Paulson

Lawrence Paulson at the Royal Society admissions day in London, July 2017
Lawrence Charles Paulson

1955 (age 68–69)[4]
Alma mater
Known for
  • Susan Mary Paulson (d. 2010)
  • Elena Tchougounova
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Cambridge
Technical University of Munich
ThesisA Compiler Generator for Semantic Grammars (1981)
Doctoral advisorJohn L. Hennessy[3]

Lawrence Charles Paulson FRS[5] (born 1955)[4] is an American computer scientist. He is a Professor of Computational Logic at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory and a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge.[2][3][7][8][9]


Paulson graduated from the California Institute of Technology in 1977,[10] and obtained his PhD in Computer Science from Stanford University in 1981 for research on programming languages and compiler-compilers supervised by John L. Hennessy.[3][11]


Paulson came to the University of Cambridge in 1983 and became a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge in 1987. He is best known for the cornerstone text on the programming language ML, ML for the Working Programmer.[12][13] His research is based around the interactive theorem prover Isabelle, which he introduced in 1986.[14] He has worked on the verification of cryptographic protocols using inductive definitions,[15] and he has also formalised the constructible universe of Kurt Gödel. Recently he has built a new theorem prover, MetiTarski,[6] for real-valued special functions.[16]

Paulson teaches an undergraduate lecture course in the Computer Science Tripos, entitled Logic and Proof[17] which covers automated theorem proving and related methods. (He used to teach Foundations of Computer Science[18] which introduces functional programming, but this course was taken over by Alan Mycroft and Amanda Prorok in 2017,[19] and then Anil Madhavapeddy and Amanda Prorok in 2019.[20])

Awards and honours[edit]

Paulson was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2017,[5] a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery in 2008[1] and a Distinguished Affiliated Professor for Logic in Informatics at the Technical University of Munich.[when?][21]

Personal life[edit]

Paulson has two children by his first wife, Dr Susan Mary Paulson, who died in 2010.[22] Since 2012, he has been married to Dr Elena Tchougounova.[4]


  1. ^ a b Anon (2008). "Professor Lawrence C. Paulson". Association for Computing Machinery. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d Lawrence Paulson publications indexed by Google Scholar Edit this at Wikidata
  3. ^ a b c Lawrence Paulson at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  4. ^ a b c Anon (2017). "Paulson, Prof. Lawrence Charles". Who's Who (online Oxford University Press ed.). Oxford: A & C Black. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.289302. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  5. ^ a b c Anon (2017). "Professor Lawrence Paulson FRS". London: Royal Society. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  6. ^ a b Akbarpour, B.; Paulson, L. C. (2009). "Meti Tarski: An Automatic Theorem Prover for Real-Valued Special Functions". Journal of Automated Reasoning. 44 (3): 175. CiteSeerX doi:10.1007/s10817-009-9149-2. S2CID 16215962.
  7. ^ Lawrence Paulson author profile page at the ACM Digital Library
  8. ^ Lawrence C. Paulson at DBLP Bibliography Server Edit this at Wikidata
  9. ^ Lawrence Paulson publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required)
  10. ^ Lawrence Paulson ORCID 0000-0003-0288-4279
  11. ^ Paulson, Lawrence Charles (1981). A Compiler Generator for Semantic Grammars (PDF). (PhD thesis). Stanford University. OCLC 757240716.
  12. ^ Paulson, Lawrence (1996). ML for the working programmer. Cambridge New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521565431.
  13. ^ "ML for the Working Programmer". University of Cambridge. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  14. ^ Paulson, L. C. (1986). "Natural deduction as higher-order resolution". The Journal of Logic Programming. 3 (3): 237–258. arXiv:cs/9301104. doi:10.1016/0743-1066(86)90015-4. S2CID 27085090.
  15. ^ Paulson, Lawrence C. (1998). "The inductive approach to verifying cryptographic protocols". Journal of Computer Security. 6 (1–2): 85–128. arXiv:2105.06319. CiteSeerX doi:10.3233/JCS-1998-61-205. ISSN 1875-8924. S2CID 7591720.
  16. ^ Paulson, L. C. (2012). "Meti Tarski: Past and Future". Interactive Theorem Proving. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Vol. 7406. pp. 1–10. CiteSeerX doi:10.1007/978-3-642-32347-8_1. ISBN 978-3-642-32346-1.
  17. ^ Paulson, Larry. "Logic and Proof". University of Cambridge. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  18. ^ Paulson, Larry. "Foundations of Computer Science". Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  19. ^ "Department of Computer Science and Technology – Course pages 2017–18: Foundations of Computer Science". Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  20. ^ "Department of Computer Science and Technology – Course pages 2019–20: Foundations of Computer Science". Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  21. ^ "Certificate of Appointment" (PDF). TU Munich. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
  22. ^ Paulson, Lawrence (2010). "Susan Paulson, PhD (1959–2010)". University of Cambridge. Retrieved 25 November 2015.