Roland Carl Backhouse
Roland backhouse.jpg
Roland Backhouse, 2009
Born (1948-08-18) 18 August 1948 (age 74)
CitizenshipGreat Britain
EducationChurchill College, Cambridge
Imperial College London
Known forProgram construction
Algorithmic problem solving
Scientific career
FieldsComputer science, mathematics
InstitutionsRoyal Aircraft Establishment
Heriot-Watt University
University of Essex
University of Groningen
Eindhoven University of Technology
University of Nottingham
Doctoral advisorJim Cunningham
InfluencesT. J. (Paddy) MacDonald, Edsger W. Dijkstra,
David Gries, Tony Hoare

Roland Carl Backhouse (born 18 August 1948) is a British computer scientist and mathematician. As of 2020, he is Emeritus Professor of Computing Science at the University of Nottingham.[1][2]

Early life and education

Backhouse was born and raised in the Thorntree district of Middlesbrough, an industrial town in the north-east of England. In 1959, he won a place at the then all-male Acklam Hall Grammar School before going on to Churchill College, Cambridge, in 1966. His doctorate (Ph.D.) was completed under the supervision of Jim Cunningham at Imperial College London.


Backhouse's career has included Royal Aircraft Establishment (1969–1970), Heriot-Watt University (1973–1982), University of Essex (1982–1986). He was formerly Professor of Computer Science at the University of Groningen (1986–1990) and Eindhoven University of Technology (1990–1999) in the Netherlands, before his position at the University of Nottingham.

He was a member of the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP) IFIP Working Group 2.1 on Algorithmic Languages and Calculi,[3] which specified, maintains, and supports the programming languages ALGOL 60 and ALGOL 68.[4]

Personal life

Backhouse is married to Hilary, née Mitchell. They have three sons, Kevin, Andrew, and David.

Academic interests

His research interests lie in the mathematics of program construction and algorithmic problem solving. Together with Jan L. A. van de Snepscheut (1953—1994), he began the biennial series of conferences on the Mathematics of Program Construction, the first of which was held in 1989.


  1. ^ "Roland Backhouse". University of Nottingham. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  2. ^ "Roland Backhouse: School of Computer Science". University of Nottingham. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  3. ^ Jeuring, Johan; Meertens, Lambert; Guttmann, Walter (17 August 2016). "Profile of IFIP Working Group 2.1". Foswiki. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  4. ^ Swierstra, Doaitse; Gibbons, Jeremy; Meertens, Lambert (2 March 2011). "ScopeEtc: IFIP21: Foswiki". Foswiki. Retrieved 10 September 2020.



Books edited

Selected papers