Queen Mary, University of London and Microsoft join forces in unique research collaboration

Byron Cook has taken up a new position at Queen Mary, University of London as one facet of an agreement between Microsoft Research Ltd and Queen Mary's School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science.

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Professor Byron Cook
Professor Byron Cook

His joint post as Professor of Computer Science brings together members of the programming community, improving their collaboration in the field of computer program 'verification'.

A world-leading researcher in the mathematics of computer programming and winner of the British Computer Society's Roger Needham Award, Professor Cook's work highlights the importance of knowledge transfer partnerships. He explains: "Our new close working relationship means Microsoft Research can make the best use of fresh-thinking young minds studying at Queen Mary.

Dr Andrew Herbert, Managing Director of Microsoft Research Cambridge and a Microsoft Distinguished Engineer says: "Byron Cook's work is highly deserving of this position; he has successfully tackled a 70 year old conundrum postulated by the father of modern computing, Alan Turing. As a result of Byron's work, termination bugs in mainstream software are set to become a thing of the past, enhancing both the personal computing experience and helping business IT systems to run more smoothly and avoid downtime."

This collaboration is strongly supported by ImpactQM, established at Queen Mary with the aid of £3m from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). This unique scheme encourages knowledge transfer partnerships in which key researchers are supported to spend time working with industrial partners on projects that help bring the advanced technology developed with state support in university labs into commercial use.

Queen Mary's Principal, Professor Simon Gaskell, said: "We are very pleased to be able to develop our mutual relationships with such well-renowned industry partners as Microsoft Research Ltd. Ties like this not only strengthen Queen Mary's world-leading research position in subjects like materials, electronic and mechanical engineering, and computer science, but also make a fundamental difference to the way universities, government and companies look at the impact of research and contribute to the UK's knowledge economy."