Philip Wadler

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Phil Wadler
Philip Wadler before a lecture at the University of Edinburgh.
Born Philip Lee Wadler
(1956-04-08) April 8, 1956 (age 60)
Fields Programming languages[1]
Alma mater
Thesis Listlessness is Better than Laziness: An Algorithm that Transforms Applicative Programs to Eliminate Intermediate Lists (1984)
Doctoral advisor Nico Habermann[2]
Notable awards

Philip Lee "Phil" Wadler (born April 8, 1956) is an American computer scientist known for his contributions to programming language design and type theory. In particular, he has contributed to the theory behind functional programming[3] and the use of monads in functional programming, the design of the purely functional language Haskell,[4] and the XQuery declarative query language. In 1984, he created the Orwell programming language. Wadler was involved in adding generic types to Java 5.0.[5] He is also author of the paper "Theorems for free!"[6] that gave rise to much research on functional language optimization (see also Parametricity).


Wadler received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Stanford University in 1977, and a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University in 1979.[7] He completed his Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University in 1984. His thesis was entitled "Listlessness is Better than Laziness" and was supervised by Nico Habermann.[2]


Wadler's research interests[8][1][9] are in programming languages.[5][10]

Wadler was a Research Fellow at the Programming Research Group (part of the Oxford University Computing Laboratory) and St Cross College, Oxford during 1983–87.[7] He was progressively Lecturer, Reader, and Professor at the University of Glasgow from 1987–96. Wadler was a Member of Technical Staff at Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies (1996–99) and then at Avaya Labs (1999–2003). Since 2003, he has been Professor of Theoretical Computer Science in the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh.[11]

Academic service[edit]

Wadler was editor of the Journal of Functional Programming from 1990–2004. He received the Most Influential POPL Paper Award in 2003 for the 1993 POPL Symposium paper Imperative Functional Programming, jointly with Simon Peyton Jones.[7][12] In 2005, he became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In 2007, he was inducted as a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery.

Wadler is currently working on a new functional language designed for writing web applications, called Links.[13]


  1. ^ a b Philip Wadler's publications indexed by Google Scholar
  2. ^ a b Philip Wadler at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  3. ^ Philip Wadler: Biography at O'Reilly Media.
  4. ^ Hudak, P.; Johnsson, T.; Kieburtz, D.; Nikhil, R.; Partain, W.; Peterson, J.; Peyton Jones, S.; Wadler, P.; Boutel, B.; Fairbairn, J.; Fasel, J.; Guzmán, M. A. M.; Hammond, K.; Hughes, J. (1992). "Report on the programming language Haskell". ACM SIGPLAN Notices. 27 (5): 1. doi:10.1145/130697.130699. 
  5. ^ a b Wadler, Philip; Naftalin, Maurice (2007). Java generics and collections. Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly. ISBN 0-596-52775-6. 
  6. ^ Wadler, P. (1989). "Theorems for free!". Proceedings of the fourth international conference on Functional programming languages and computer architecture - FPCA '89. p. 347. doi:10.1145/99370.99404. ISBN 0897913280. 
  7. ^ a b c Philip Wadler vita.
  8. ^ Philip Wadler at DBLP Bibliography Server
  9. ^ Philip Wadler's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database, a service provided by Elsevier. (subscription required)
  10. ^ Bird, Richard Miller; Wadler, Philip (1998). Introduction to functional programming using Haskell. New York: Prentice Hall Europe. ISBN 0-13-484346-0. 
  11. ^ Philip Wadler, School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh, UK.
  12. ^ Peyton Jones, S. L.; Wadler, P. (1993). "Imperative functional programming". Proceedings of the 20th ACM SIGPLAN-SIGACT symposium on Principles of programming languages - POPL '93. p. 71. doi:10.1145/158511.158524. ISBN 0897915607. 
  13. ^ Links programming language group, University of Edinburgh, UK.

External links[edit]