Matthias Felleisen

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Matthias Felleisen
Photograph of Felleisen standing in front of a projector screen, gesturing
CitizenshipUnited States
EducationPh.D., Indiana University (1984-1987),
Diplom. Wi. Ing., Technische Universität Karlsruhe (1978-1983),
Master of Science, University of Arizona, Tucson (1980-1981)
Known forFounder of PLT, operational semantics, type safety, continuations, gradual typing, A-normal form
Awardsthe ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Award, ACM Fellow
Scientific career
FieldsComputer scientist
InstitutionsRice University
Northeastern University
ThesisThe Calculi of Lambda_v-CS Conversion: A Syntactic Theory of Control and State in Imperative Higher-Order Programming Languages

Matthias Felleisen is a German-American computer science professor and author. He grew up in Germany and immigrated to the US when he was 21 years old.

After serving as professor for 14 years in the Computer Science Department of Rice University, Felleisen is currently a Trustee Professor in the Khoury College of Computer Sciences at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. He received his PhD from Indiana University under the direction of Daniel P. Friedman.

Felleisen's interests include programming languages, including software tools, program design, the Design Recipe, software contracts, and many more.[1] In the 1990s, Felleisen launched PLT and TeachScheme! (now ProgramByDesign and eventually giving rise to the Bootstrap project [2]) with the goal of teaching program-design principles to beginners and to explore the use of Scheme to produce large systems. As part of this effort, he authored How to Design Programs (MIT Press, 2001) with Findler, Flatt, and Krishnamurthi.

For his dissertation Felleisen developed small-step operational semantics for higher-order functional with imperative extensions (state, control). Part I of "Semantics Engineering with PLT Redex" [3]) is derived from his dissertation. Its most well-known application is for a proof of type safety, worked out with his PhD student Andrew Wright.[4]

Control delimiters, the basis of delimited continuations, were introduced by Felleisen[5] in 1988. They have since been used in many domains, particularly in defining new control operators; see Queinnec[6] for a survey.

A-normal form (ANF), an intermediate representation of programs in functional compilers were introduced by Sabry and Felleisen in 1992[7] as a simpler alternative to continuation-passing style (CPS).

In support of the TeachScheme! project, Felleisen and his team of Findler, Flatt, and Krishnamurthi designed and implemented the Racket programming language.,[8] Racket (nee PLT Scheme). The idea was to create a programming language with which it would be easy to quickly build pedagogic languages for novice students---a programmable programming language[9] Flatt remains the lead architect of the Racket effort to this day.

This Racket programming language has played a key role in the recent development of gradual typing. In 2006, Felleisen and his PhD student Sam Tobin-Hochstadt started the Typed Racket project with the goal of allowing developers to migrate code from an untyped programming language to the same syntax enriched with a sound type system[10][11] The Typed Racket language was the first to fully implement and support the idea of "gradually typing" a code base and remains under active development.

Felleisen gave the keynote addresses at the 2011 Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, 2010 International Conference on Functional Programming,[12] 2004 European Conference on Object-Oriented Programming and the 2001 Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages, and several other conferences and workshops on computer science.

In 2006, he was inducted as a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery. In 2009, he received the Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award from the ACM.[13] In 2010, he received the SIGCSE Award for Outstanding Contribution to Computer Science Education from the ACM. In 2012, he received the ACM SIGPLAN Programming Languages Achievement Award for "significant and lasting contribution to the field of programming languages"[14] including small-step operational semantics for control and state, mixin classes and mixin modules, a fully abstract semantics for Sequential PCF, web programming techniques, higher-order contracts with blame, and static typing for dynamic languages.


Felleisen is co-author of:


  1. ^ "Research". Retrieved 2012-06-26.
  2. ^ "Bootstrap World". Retrieved 2019-05-31.
  3. ^ "Semantics Engineering". Retrieved 2019-06-16.
  4. ^ Wright, Andrew; Felleisen, Matthias (1994), "A Syntactic Approach to Type Soundness", Information and Computation, 115 (1): 38–94, doi:10.1006/inco.1994.1093
  5. ^ Matthias Felleisen (1988). "The theory and practice of first-class prompts". Principles of Programming Languages: 180–190. doi:10.1145/73560.73576. ISBN 0-89791-252-7. S2CID 16705769.
  6. ^ Queinnec, Christian (April 1994). "A library of high-level control operators". École Polytechnique and INRIA-Rocquencourt. CiteSeerX Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ Sabry, Amr; Felleisen, Matthias. "Reasoning about Programs in Continuation-Passing Style". Proceedings of the 1992 ACM Conference on LISP and Functional Programming, LFP'92. San Francisco, CA, US. Sabry92. Retrieved 2012-11-16.
  8. ^ Racket: People, retrieved 2020-10-29.
  9. ^ Tobin-Hochstadt, Sam; Findler, Robert; Flatt, Matthew; Krishnamurthi, Shriram; Barzilay, Eli; McCarthy, Jay; Tobin-Hochstadt, Sam. "Interlanguage Migration: From Scripts to Programs". Communications of the ACM. Portland, OR. Felleisen18. Retrieved 2020-11-07.
  10. ^ Tobin-Hochstadt, Sam; Felleisen, Matthias. "Interlanguage Migration: From Scripts to Programs". Proceedings of the Symposium on Object-Oriented Programming Systems, Companion Volume. Portland, OR. Tobin-Hochstadt06. Retrieved 2020-11-06.
  11. ^ Tobin-Hochstadt, Sam; Felleisen, Matthias. "The Design and Implementation of Typed Scheme". Proceedings of the Principles of Programming Languages. San Diego, CA. Tobin-Hochstadt08. Retrieved 2020-11-06.
  12. ^ "ICFP 2010 Homepage". Retrieved 2012-12-18.
  13. ^ "ACM Award Citation". Archived from the original on 2012-05-04. Retrieved 2012-06-26.
  14. ^ "Programming Languages Achievement Award". Retrieved 2012-06-26.

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