Samson Abramsky

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Samson Abramsky

Abramsky in May 2005
Born (1953-03-12) 12 March 1953 (age 70)[4]
Alma mater
Scientific career
ThesisDomain Theory and the Logic of Observable Properties (1987)
Doctoral advisorRichard Bornat[3]

Samson Abramsky FRS FRSE (born 12 March 1953) is Professor of Computer Science at University College London. He was previously the Christopher Strachey Professor of Computing at Wolfson College, Oxford, from 2000 to 2021.

His early work included profound contributions to domain theory and the connections thereof with geometric logic. Since then, his work has covered the lazy lambda calculus, strictness analysis, concurrency theory, interaction categories and geometry of interaction, game semantics and quantum computing. Notably, he co-pioneered categorical quantum mechanics. More recently, he has been applying methods from categorical semantics to finite model theory, with applications to descriptive complexity.[2][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12]


Abramsky was educated at Hasmonean Grammar School for Boys, Hendon and at King's College, Cambridge (BA 1975, MA Philosophy 1979, Diploma in Computer Science) and Queen Mary, University of London (PhD Computer Science 1988, supervised by Richard Bornat).[3]

Career and research[edit]

Since 2021, Abramsky is Professor of Computer Science at University College London. He has been a Fellow of the Royal Society since 2004. His research includes the development of game semantics, domain theory in logical form, and categorical quantum mechanics.

His earlier positions include:

Abramsky has played a leading role in the development of game semantics, and its applications to the semantics of programming languages. Other notable contributions include his work on domain theory in logical form, the lazy lambda calculus, strictness analysis, concurrency theory, interaction categories, and geometry of interaction. He has recently been working on high-level methods for quantum computation and information.

Selected publications[edit]

Samson Abramsky co-edited 6 Volumes Handbook of Logic in Computer Science with Dov Gabbay and Tom Maibaum.

  • 1992. Volume 1: Background: Mathematical Structures.
  • 1992. Volume 2: Background: Computational Structures.
  • 1995. Volume 3: Semantic Structures.
  • 1995. Volume 4: Semantic Modelling.
  • 2001. Volume 5: Logic and Algebraic Methods.
  • Volume 6: Logical methods in computer science.

Samson Abramsky has published over two hundred publications and his h-index was 57 as of October 2019.[13]

  • 1986. Strictness analysis for higher-order functions. (with GL Burn, C Hankin). Science of Computer Programming.
  • 1990. The Lazy Lambda Calculus. Research Topics in Functional Programming.
  • 1993. Computational Interpretations of Linear logic. in Theoretical Computer Science 111
  • 1994. Domain Theory. (with A Jung). in Handbook of Logic in Computer Science 3.
  • 1996. Interaction categories and the foundations of typed concurrent programming. (with S Gay and R Nagarajan). NATO ASI SERIES F COMPUTER AND SYSTEMS SCIENCES 152
  • 1997. Specifying interaction categories. (with D Pavlović). Category Theory and Computer Science
  • 2002. Geometry of interaction and linear combinatory algebras. (with E Haghverdi and P Scott). Mathematical Structures in Computer Science 12 (5)
  • 2003. Sequentiality vs. concurrency in games and logic. Mathematical Structures in Computer Science 13 (4)

Some of the recent works of Samson Abramsky include:

Awards and honours[edit]

Abramsky is a Fellow of the Royal Society (2004), a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (2000),[14] and a Member of Academia Europaea (1993). He is a member of the editorial boards of the North Holland Studies in Logic and the Foundations of Mathematics, and of the Cambridge Tracts in Theoretical Computer Science. He was general chair of LiCS 2000–2003, and is a member of the LiCS Organizing Committee.

Abramsky's nomination for the Royal Society reads:

Samson Abramsky is distinguished for seminal contributions to the mathematical foundations of computation. His outstanding achievement is his development of Game Semantics as a theory of computational processes which exposes the mathematical structure of the information flow between them. This has led to powerful applications in the study of programming languages, offering decisive new insights into the nature of sequentiality, state, control, and many other computational features. It is now leading in turn to new developments in computer-assisted program analysis and verification. An important strand, which also stands as a contribution to logic, is a generalisation of Girard's Geometry of Interaction, leading to a new genre of full completeness theorems, which characterise the 'space of proofs' of a logic. Previously, Abramsky made important contributions to abstract interpretation, domain theory, lambda calculus and concurrency. He continues to shed light over a broad range of topics by sharp and creative insights, breaking new ground, and bringing order and unity to existing work.[16]


  1. ^ a b "Mr Samson Abramsky".
  2. ^ a b Samson Abramsky publications indexed by Google Scholar
  3. ^ a b Samson Abramsky at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  4. ^ A & C Black (2014). "ABRAMSKY, Prof. Samson". Who's Who. Bloomsbury Publishing.(subscription required)
  5. ^ Samson Abramsky's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required)
  6. ^ Abramsky, S.; Jagadeesan, R.; Malacaria, P. (2000). "Full Abstraction for PCF" (PDF). Information and Computation. 163 (2): 409. arXiv:1311.6125. doi:10.1006/inco.2000.2930.
  7. ^ Abramsky, S.; Ong, C. H. L. (1993). "Full Abstraction in the Lazy Lambda Calculus". Information and Computation. 105 (2): 159. doi:10.1006/inco.1993.1044.
  8. ^ "Samson Abramsky LinkedIn page".
  9. ^ Samson Abramsky at DBLP Bibliography Server Edit this at Wikidata
  10. ^ Abramsky, S. (1993). "Computational interpretations of linear logic". Theoretical Computer Science. 111 (1–2): 3–57. doi:10.1016/0304-3975(93)90181-R.
  11. ^ Samson Abramsky author profile page at the ACM Digital Library
  12. ^ Samson Abramsky publications indexed by Microsoft Academic
  13. ^ Samson Abramsky : Publications
  14. ^ "Professor Samson Abramsky FRS FRSE". The Royal Society of Edinburgh. 19 May 2017. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  15. ^ "BCS Academy of Computing | BCS".
  16. ^ "DServe Archive Catalog Show".