Professor John Tucker

Professor John Tucker

Professor, Computer Science

Telephone number

+44 (0) 1792 295649

Email address

Research Links

Office - 332
Third Floor
Computational Foundry
Bay Campus
Available For Postgraduate Supervision


Professor Tucker is a computer scientist whose research addresses what can and cannot be computed by people and machines.

He also studies the historical development of data and computing and their influence on society. He founded the University’s History of Computing Collection and the new Swansea research group called Educational, Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Computing.

Professor Tucker is also an expert on the history and heritage of science and technology in Wales.

Since coming to Swansea in 1989, he has served as Head of Department of Computer Science (1994-2008), Head of School of Physical Sciences (2007-11), and Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor (2011-19).


Areas Of Expertise

  • Theory of data and data types
  • Algebraic methods for modelling and specification
  • Computability theory
  • Physical foundations for computation
  • Identity, monitoring and surveillance
  • History of computing
  • History of science and technology in Wales

Career Highlights

Teaching Interests

Professor Tucker has lectured on theoretical computer science to all sorts of people at all sorts of levels.

He enjoys lecturing and project supervision that explores the

(i) historical development of computing, combining technical, commercial, political, and social drivers and influences;


(ii) history of science and technology in Wales.


Computability theory is about what can and cannot be computed by people and machines. Professor Tucker has focused on generalising the classical theory to deal with all forms of discrete/digital and continuous/analogue data; on using the generalisations as formal methods for system design; and on the interface between algorithms and physical equipment and phenomena.

He also works on the theory of data, especially the specification of abstract data types.

He is investigating the historical development of computing and its role in shaping society. This research is based on the University’s History of Computing Collection.

He is also investigating the history of science and technology in Wales.


Award Highlights

Professor Tucker was an early advocate for the creation of a national academy for Wales. He was a Founding Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales, and became its first General Secretary when it launched (2010-17).

He is a Member of Academia Europaea.

He is a member of the REF 2014 and REF 2021 Computer Science Committees.


Professor Tucker has enjoyed longstanding research collaborations with Viggo Stoltenberg Hansen (Uppsala), Jan Bergstra (Amsterdam), Jeffrey Zucker (McMaster), Edwin Beggs (Swansea), Felix Costa (Lisbon), Ken Johnson (Auckland) and Victoria Wang (Portsmouth).