School of Informatics

Andy Gordon and Gordon Plotkin Appointed Fellows of ACM

Andy Gordon and Gordon Plotkin have been awarded Fellowship of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the leading educational and scientific computing society in the world.

Headshot photos of Andy Gordon and Gordon Plotkin side by side.
Andy Gordon (left) and Gordon Plotkin (right).

Andy and Gordon are two of 95 new ACM Fellows announced earlier this month, an honour that recognises work underpinning the computing innovations of today. Both Andy and Gordon were chosen for their contributions to programming languages; Andy for his focus on their principles, logic, usability and trustworthiness, and Gordon for their operational and denotational semantics.

ACM Fellows are responsible for wide-ranging and fundamental contributions to computing, including (but not limited to) artificial intelligence, cloud computing, computer graphics, computational biology, data science, human-computer interaction, software engineering, theoretical computer science and virtual reality. This year’s Fellows are behind innovations that have brought about significant improvements across technology, industry and society.

Andy and Gordon are not the first School of Informatics staff members to be honoured with a Fellowship of the ACM; they join colleagues Alan Bundy, Peter Buneman, Wenfei Fan, Leonid Libkin and Phil Wadler.

I'm delighted to be honoured by the ACM for my research work on programming languages. I have loved programming languages for forty years and had the privilege and good fortune to work with and learn from the most amazing collaborators during my research career. It's been a journey across many different application areas from pure functional programming, to concurrency theory, to security, machine learning, and even spreadsheets. I love the chance to learn about new areas through the lens of programming languages.

Andy GordonSchool of Informatics, University of Edinburgh and Microsoft Research

The fellowship is a signal honour which I enormously appreciate, and I am very grateful to my supporters.

Gordon PlotkinSchool of Informatics, University of Edinburgh

The ACM Fellowship recognises incredible accomplishments in the areas of computing and information technology as well as outstanding service to ACM and the wider computing community. The Fellows programme honours the top 1% of ACM Members, whose contributions encompass the full scope of the computing field. Fellows are nominated by their peers and nominations are reviews by a distinguished selection committee.

This year’s Fellows reflect the global reach of ACM, representing universities, corporations and research centres in Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Germany, Israel, Japan, The Netherlands, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The 2020 ACM Fellows have demonstrated excellence across many disciplines of computing. These men and women have made pivotal contributions to technologies that are transforming whole industries, as well as our personal lives. We fully expect that these new ACM Fellows will continue in the vanguard in their respective fields.

Gabriele KotsisPresident of ACM


The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) is the world's largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field's challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession's collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.

The ACM Fellows Program

The ACM Fellows Program, initiated in 1993, celebrates the exceptional contributions of the leading members in the computing field.  These individuals have helped to enlighten researchers, developers, practitioners and end users of information technology throughout the world. The new ACM Fellows join a distinguished list of colleagues to whom ACM and its members look for guidance and leadership in computing and information technology.

Related Links

ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery

ACM Fellows Program

Andy Gordon’s personal page

Gordon Plotkin’s personal page