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James Cheney

Personal Chair of Programming Languages and Systems

University of Edinburgh





Who I am

I am a Personal Chair of Programming Languages and Systems 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 September 2018 I am a Turing Fellow and from 2018-2020 I was a Visiting Researcher at King's College, London.

From October 2008 until December 2016 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


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

Last modified: Fri Oct 16 13:27:11 BST 2020 Accessibility statement