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Gordon D. Plotkin, FRS (born 9 September 1946, in Glasgow) is a Scottish computer scientist.

Gordon Plotkin is best-known for his introduction of structural operational semantics (SOS) and his work on denotational semantics. In particular, his notes on A Structural Approach to Operational Semantics of 1981 were very influential. He has contributed to many other areas of computer science.

Plotkin is now Professor of Theoretical Computer Science in the School of Informaticsmarker at The University of Edinburgh.


Plotkin received his PhD in 1972 from the University of Edinburgh, where he studied under Rod Burstall. He has remained at Edinburgh, and was, with Burstall and Milner, a co-founder of the Laboratory for Foundations of Computer Sciencemarker (LFCS).



He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1992, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a Member of the Academia Europ├Ža. He is also a winner of the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award.

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