As an undergraduate I studied Computing and Artificial Intelligence in COGS, University of Sussex. I did a masters in Philosophy at University of Bristol and then a PhD at University of Birmingham under the supervision of Paul Levy. The last two years of my PhD were spent at Max Planck Institute for Software Systems, working with Umut Acar. I also did a postdoc there with Deepak Garg.
Before becoming a researcher I worked as a programmer. For eight years I was involved with a company called Ergnosis, which I co-founded with Russ Freeman. We developed a micro-refactoring tool called domain/j. It was a nice idea but we got bogged down in building new runtime infrastructure. Now I think of that infrastructure-building as “PL design”.
Some of my sources of inspiration (random selection): Daniel Dennett, Bill Hicks, Satyajit Ray, Italo Calvino, Flann O'Brien. My favourite computer is probably the ZX-81 although the first thing I ever programmed was the Commodore PET. Consciousness is possibly the most interesting thing there is.
I was born in Bristol, UK, and now live there with my sixteen-year old son, Luca. I have an old blog with some articles about programming languages and tools. You can also find me on Twitter and Facebook.