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Prof Ian Watson (BSc PhD FBCS CEng CITP) - personal details

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Prof Ian Watson

Role: Group Contact




Ian Watson is Professor of Computer Science in the School of Computer Science, University of Manchester. He is a member of the APT research group.

He studied for a BSc in Physics and Electronic Engineering at Manchester from 1966-1969. This was preceeded by a gap year working at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in Teddington, Middlesex where he first developed an interest in computers.

In 1969 he joined the Department of Computer Science at the University of Manchester as a PhD student. He obtained his PhD in 1973 for work on storage technologies, much of which was concerned with the magnetic disk system for the MU5 research computer. 

Following this, he worked for a short time for Data Laboratories Ltd. on a project concerned with a special purpose computer for signal processing applications.

In December 1973 he joined the Department of Computer Science as a lecturer. He has worked there continually since that time, being promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1983 and Professor of Computer Science in 1987.

His research work, over many years, has been concerned with parallel computing. More specifically, the structure of hardware and software systems which simplify the use of parallelism. He is probably best known for his work on Dataflow and parallel Functional Languages. The recent shift towards multi-core processors has meant that simplified general purpose parallel programming has suddenly become much more important and much of this earlier work is providing a solid foundation for new research on multi-core systems.

External activities have included membership of the Council for Professors and Heads of Computing (CPHC) of which he was chair from 2001-2003. He is a fellow of the British Computer Society (BCS) and a member of the United Kingdom Computing Research Committee (UKCRC).


BSc (Hons) Physics & Electronic Engineering (1969)

PhD Computer Science (1973)