Prof Paul Curzon



HCI Research

Education Research

Hardware/Software verification Research

CS is fun


Interaction, Media and Communication (IMC) Group

Logic and Semantics Group

School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science

Queen Mary, University of London


I am a Professor of Computer Science in the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, Queen Mary, University of London.

I created with Peter McOwan and edit the EPSRC funded magazine and webzine cs4fn: an initiative to bring computer science research to schools and promote the fun side of the subject. We've also created spin-offs from cs4fn for Electronic Engineering (ee4fn) and Audio Engineering ((Audio!)). Our series of magic books (teaching computer science through magic) is incredibly popular.

With William Marsh I created and am a Director of Teaching London Computing supporting teachers across the UK to deliver the new computing curriculum from primary school upwards. The project is joint with King's College London and is funded by the Mayor of London and the Department of Education.

In 2010 I was made a National Teaching Fellow by the Higher Education Academy. This is the most prestigious award for teaching in the UK. I was shortlisted for the 2009 Times Higher Education Most Innovative Teacher of the Year Award. I won the EPSRC's "New Computer Science Writer of the Year" Award 2007. I have also won three Queen Mary, University of London Draper's prizes: two for excellence in teaching (resulting from student nominations) and one for innovation in teaching and learning.

My current research area concerns interaction design and human error. On the CHI+MED project we are applying this work to the area of medical device design. My work on human error was selected for presentation at the Royal Society Summer Exhibition, 2009.

I was previously a Reader at the School of Computing Science, Middlesex University where I was convenor of the Interaction Design Centre. Until 1996 I was a Senior Research Associate at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, and a member of the Automated Reasoning Group. I was also Director of Studies for Computer Science at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.

I gained my PhD from Cambridge University in 1990, and a first class honours degree in Computer Science from Christ's College, Cambridge in 1986.

Contact me using one of the following...

Work Email:
Work Phone: +44 (020) 7882 5815
Work Fax: +44 (020) 8980 6533
Work Address:
Room CS/304, School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, Queen Mary, University of London, Mile End, London, E1 4NS.


I have worked on a range of research topics in the areas of formal verification, human-computer interaction and education. See the separate project pages for details. Here is a list of my publications.

Human Computer Interaction Research

CHI+MED project: Computer-Human Interaction for Medical Devices
This is a major new research project to improve the usability and safety of interactive medical devices, such as infusion devices, glucometers and vital signs monitors - devices that have a user interface and are designed to be used by people without extensive technical training. Incorrect user programming or readings can, and unfortunately does, result in incorrect treatment, even patient death.
The Human Error Modelling Project: Applying Results from Cognitive Science to Formal System Verification
This project is concerned with the integration of formal user modelling with system verification. The aim is to develop tools and techniques that allow classes of user errors to be detected during the verification of systems.
The Navigation Project
This project involves studying the interaction design of in-car and related navigation systems.
Designing for Older People
This project involves studying interaction design issues relating to older people, for example in the use of e-government websites.
Supporting Online Communities
I have been involved in projects concerned with aspects of creating and supporting online communities in an educational context.

Education Research

The Computer Science for Fun Project
I am interested in the use of games, puzzles, magic, things from everyday life, elf computers, just about anything in fact, for teaching computer science concepts and in the public engagement in science and engineering. Computer Science recruitment was in crisis. This was my solution.
Encouraging Innovative Teaching
The Middlesex University Center for Learning Development Reading Group Project I created aimed to encourage innovative teaching by providing a forum for academic staff to share the experience of their reading on teaching and learning.
Student Motivation for Taking Programming Modules
I conducted a study into the way students' motivations for taking programming modules change as they progress through University.
The use of Communication Technologies to Support Teaching
The Middlesex University FROG project investigated the use of intranet communication technologies to support the teaching of programming.

Harware and Software Verification Research

Supporting decision diagram-based hardware verification with interactive proof
This project involves the verification of aspects of the MDG verification system using HOL, and looking at ways of combining the two systems.
Comparing Hardware Verification Systems
In collaboration with researchers at Concordia University and the University of Provence, I have done comparisons of various hardware verification systems.
The Formal Verification of the Fairisle ATM Network
I formally verified the Farisle ATM Network Switch Fabrics using the HOL Theorem Proving System.
Compiler Verification
I have also used HOL to verify a compiler for a subset of the Vista structured assembly language for the Viper microprocessor.
The Verification of Microprograms and Machine Code
My Ph.D. concerned the development of a system for verifying bit images of microprograms using program verification techniques.
Verified Proof Checking
I worked briefly on a project to study the feasibility of independent proof checking and of formally verifying a proof checker.
Proof Infrastructure
I have worked on various proof infrastructure projects, including work on lists, facilities for multiple active theories, proof maintenance and proof checking.

Computer Science is fun

If you are wondering what computer science is, why its different to ICT, are about to start a new Computer Science related course or have recently started one, I have collected some "fun" reading. I hope it will get you off to a good start and help you understand what computer science is all about. You might also like to explore cs4fn which is all about Computer Science for the fun of it.


I teach the following courses

I have taught a variety of Computer Science Courses at Cambridge University and at Middlesex University prior to working at Queen Mary.
  • Fundamentals of Data Structures and Algorithms (Delivered at Middlesex University)
  • Data Structures and Algorithms in Software Development (Delivered at Middlesex University)
  • Introduction to Programming (Delivered at Middlesex University)
  • Specification and Verification I (Delivered at the University of Cambridge)
  • Computer Security (Delivered at Middlesex University)
  • Software Engineering (Delivered at Middlesex University)
  • I have also supervised students in a wide range of subjects at Cambridge University for many different colleges.