Peter Buneman

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Peter Buneman
Oscar Peter Buneman

1943 (age 75–76)
ResidenceEdinburgh, UK
Alma materGonville and Caius College, Cambridge[1]
University of Warwick
Known for
Scientific career
FieldsComputer Science
ThesisModels of Learning and Memory (1970)
Doctoral advisorChristopher Zeeman[6]
Doctoral students

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.[6]


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,[5] 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] such as introducing 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. ^ "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)
  2. ^ Buneman, P.; Khanna, S.; Wang-Chiew, T. (2001). "Why and Where: A Characterization of Data Provenance". Database Theory — ICDT 2001. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. 1973. p. 316. CiteSeerX doi:10.1007/3-540-44503-X_20. ISBN 978-3-540-41456-8.
  3. ^ a b "WebCite query result".
  4. ^ ACM fellowship citation:
  5. ^ a b Rusbridge, C.; Buneman, P.; Burnhill, P.; Giaretta, D.; Ross, S.; Lyon, L.; Atkinson, M. (2005). "The Digital Curation Centre: A Vision for Digital Curation" (PDF). 2005 IEEE International Symposium on Mass Storage Systems and Technology. p. 31. doi:10.1109/LGDI.2005.1612461. ISBN 978-0-7803-9228-1.
  6. ^ a b c Peter Buneman at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  7. ^ Peter Buneman author profile page at the ACM Digital Library
  8. ^ Peter Buneman at DBLP Bibliography Server Edit this at Wikidata
  9. ^ List of publications from Microsoft Academic
  10. ^ Peter Buneman's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required)
  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" (PDF). 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. CiteSeerX 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: 3–48. doi:10.1016/0304-3975(95)00024-Q.
  16. ^ Buneman, P.; Davidson, S.; Fernandez, M.; Suciu, D. (1997). "Adding structure to unstructured data". 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.
  17. ^ Abiteboul, Serge; Buneman, Peter; Suciu, Dan (2000). Data on the Web: From Relations to Semistructured Data and XML. Morgan Kaufmann. ISBN 978-1558606227.
  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. ^ "No. 60367". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 2012. p. 15.