Picture of James Cheney

James Cheney


University of Edinburgh





Who I am

I am a Reader in the Laboratory for Foundations of Computer Science, University of Edinburgh, working in the areas of databases and programming languages. I am also a member of the Security and Privacy group in Informatics. I lead the Principles of Provenance group.

From October 2008 until December 2015 I held a Royal Society University Research Fellowship.

From September 2004 until October 2008 I was a postdoctoral research associate in the Database Group. I have also been involved with the Digital Curation Centre and during 2008-2009 I organized a Theme Program on Principles of Provenance for the eScience Institute.

I earned my PhD in Computer Science at Cornell University in August 2004. From January to May 2003 I visited Cambridge University's Computer Laboratory. In the summer of 2001 I worked at Intertrust on a summer internship. I have a BS in Computer Science and Mathematics (May 1998) and MS in Mathematics (August 1998) from Carnegie Mellon University.

Before that I lived in Wisconsin, land of cheese.

I maintain a research blog, which is updated sporadically.


PhD opportunities:

Right now I am not looking for new students, but the following links are relevant if you are interested in PhD study in PL in Edinburgh.



My research interests include:

  • Databases and data provenance
  • Programming languages and compilers
  • Generic programming
  • Logic and automated theorem proving
  • Compression and information theory
  • XML and related technologies

Current research team

Please see my research group page.

Current projects

Past projects

Professional Activities

I am on sabbatical in 2018 and limiting my professional service during this period.
  • BX 2019 (PC co-chair)

Contact information


jcheney at inf dot ed dot ac dot uk


07891 708 737 (M)
0131 651 5658 (O)

Address: Informatics Forum 5.29
Laboratory for Foundations of Computer Science
School of Informatics
10 Crichton Street
Scotland, UK