David A. Turner
Born(1946-01-26)26 January 1946
Battersea, London, England
Died19 October 2023(2023-10-19) (aged 77)
CitizenshipUnited Kingdom
EducationD.Phil., University of Oxford
Known forSASL, Kent Recursive Calculator, Miranda
Scientific career
FieldsComputer science
InstitutionsQueen Mary University of London
University of Texas at Austin
University of Kent at Canterbury
Middlesex University
Doctoral advisorChristopher Strachey and Dana Scott

David A. Turner (26 January 1946 – 19 October 2023) was a British computer scientist. He is best known for designing and implementing three programming languages, including the first for functional programming based on lazy evaluation, combinator graph reduction, and polymorphic types: SASL (1972), Kent Recursive Calculator (KRC) (1981), and the commercially supported Miranda (1985). Miranda had a strong influence on the later Haskell.[1]

In 1981, Turner received the Doctor of Philosophy (D.Phil.) from the University of Oxford, for his dissertation "Aspects of the Implementation of Programming Languages: The Compilation of an Applicative Language to Combinatory Logic", supervised by Christopher Strachey and Dana Scott.[2][3][4] He held professorships at Queen Mary College, London, University of Texas at Austin and the University of Kent at Canterbury, where he spent most of his career and retained the title of Emeritus Professor of Computation.

Turner was involved with developing international standards in programming and informatics, as a member of the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP) IFIP Working Group 2.1 on Algorithmic Languages and Calculi,[5] which specified, maintains, and supports the programming languages ALGOL 60 and ALGOL 68.[6] He was also a member of the IFIP Working Group 2.8 on Functional Programming, which related to his creation of Miranda.[7]

Turner was an emeritus professor at the University of Kent and Middlesex University in England.[8][9]

Turner died on 19 October 2023, at the age of 77.[2]



  1. ^ Hudak, Paul; Hughes, John (2007). "A History of Haskell: being lazy with class".
  2. ^ a b Sarah Nicholas (24 November 2023). "David Turner obituary". The Guardian.
  3. ^ Turner, David. "Genealogy". David Turner homepage. Retrieved 28 November 2023.
  4. ^ "David A. Turner". Mathematics Genealogy Project. Retrieved 28 November 2023.
  5. ^ Jeuring, Johan; Meertens, Lambert; Guttmann, Walter (17 August 2016). "Profile of IFIP Working Group 2.1". Foswiki. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
  6. ^ Swierstra, Doaitse; Gibbons, Jeremy; Meertens, Lambert (2 March 2011). "ScopeEtc: IFIP21: Foswiki". Foswiki. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
  7. ^ Ralf Hinze (2016). "WG2.8 Functional Programming".
  8. ^ "David Turner – Inventor of Miranda". lambda DAλS. 2017. Retrieved 21 November 2023.
  9. ^ "David Turner – Designer of SASL, KRC and Miranda". CODE SYNC. 2020. Retrieved 21 November 2023.