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Arthur John Robin Gorell Milner FRS FRSE (Robin Milner or A.J.R.G. Milner, born 13 January 1934 near Plymouthmarker) is a prominent British computer scientist.

Life, education and career

Milner was born in Yealmptonmarker, near Plymouthmarker, Englandmarker into a military family. He was awarded a scholarship to Eton Collegemarker in 1947, and subsequently served in the Royal Engineers, attaining the rank of Second Lieutenant. He then enrolled at King's College, Cambridgemarker, graduating in 1957, Milner first worked as a schoolteacher then as a programmer at Ferranti, before entering academia at City University, Londonmarker, then Swansea Universitymarker, Stanford Universitymarker, and from 1973 at the University of Edinburgh, where he was a co-founder of the Laboratory for Foundations of Computer Sciencemarker (LFCS). He returned to Cambridgemarker as the head of the Computer Laboratorymarker in 1995 from which he has subsequently stepped down, although he is still at the laboratory. Since 2009, Milner is a SICSA Advanced Research Fellow and holds (part-time) the Chair of Computer Science at the University of Edinburgh.


Milner is generally regarded as having made three major contributions to computer science. He developed LCF, one of the first tools for automated theorem proving. The language he developed for LCF, ML, was the first language with polymorphic type inference and type-safe exception handling. In a very different area, Milner also developed a theoretical framework for analyzing concurrent systems, the calculus of communicating systems (CCS), and its successor, the pi-calculus. He is currently working on bigraphs, a formalism subsuming CCS and the pi-calculus.

Honors and awards

He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1988 and received the ACM Turing Award in 1991. In 1994 he was inducted as a Fellow of the ACM. In 2004 the Royal Society of Edinburgh awarded Milner with a Royal Medal for his "bringing about public benefits on a global scale". In 2008, he was elected a Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Engineering for "fundamental contributions to computer science, including the development of LCF, ML, CCS, and the pi-calculus." [14008]

Selected publications

  • A calculus of communicating systems, Robin Milner. Springer (LNCS 92), 1980. ISBN 3-540-10235-3
  • Communication and Concurrency, Robin Milner. Prentice Hall (International Series in Computer Science), 1989. ISBN 0-131-15007-3
  • The Definition of Standard ML, Robin Milner, Mads Tofte, Robert Harper, MIT Press 1990
  • The Definition of Standard ML (Revised), Robin Milner, Mads Tofte, Robert Harper, David MacQueen, MIT Press 1997. ISBN 0-262-63181-4
  • Commentary on Standard ML, Robin Milner, Mads Tofte, MIT Press 1997. ISBN 0-262-63137-7
  • Communicating and Mobile Systems: the Pi-Calculus, Robin Milner. Cambridge University Press, 1999. ISBN 0-521-65869-1



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