Dame Muffy Calder

Developer of models in functional style for over 30 years

Muffy Calder has been Vice-Principal and Head of College of Science and Engineering, University of Glasgow since 2015, previously she was the Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland. She is a computer scientist with research interests in modelling and automated reasoning for complex, interactive, and sensor-driven systems, and privacy intrusion. She is a member of the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology and on the leadership team of Responsible AI UK. Previously, she was a Royal Society Leverhulme Research Senior Fellow, and a Suffrage Science award winner in Computing Science and Mathematics. 

I published my first paper on modelling telecoms protocols in 1989 and then implemented an interpreter for protocol languages in David Turner’s Miranda.  As a consequence, I fell in love with functional programming, and I learned about the power of making equations come to life. But for me these are means to an end; it is the role of models and reasoning about them that are my focus.

The types of models and techniques I have developed and used have changed over the years, and so have I.  These days, my models are usually probabilistic and often developed in Milner’s Bigraphs (with extensions).  Using several examples, from systems biology to mixed reality systems, I will reflect on how my research has evolved, what I have learned, and some challenges and issues we might think about in the future.  


The talk is suitable for a general audience. I will touch on process algebra, model checking, and bigraphs, but no specific knowledge is assumed.  Instead, I hope I pique your interest!