Biography:Michael W. Shields

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Michael ("Mike") William Shields is a British computer scientist.


Mike Shields has been an academic in the Department of Computing at the University of Surrey in Guildford, southern England.[1] His research contributions have been in theoretical computer science, especially concerning concurrency. In particular, he has written books on automata theory[2] and the semantics of parallel computing.[3]

A meeting was held in 2006 at the British Computer Society's offices in London to celebrate Shields' contribution to computer science (his "innovative and elegant foundational work on models of concurrency") on his retirement.[4] He has since moved to Malta.[5]

F. X. Reid[edit]

F. X. Reid[6] (aka FXR) is a pen name that Shields has sometimes used in his more humorous writings and even within his serious work.[7][8]

Reid has been a long-time contributor to the British Computer Society's FACS Specialist Group FACS FACTS newsletter in the past. For example, he has been an enthusiast for the COMEFROM statement and an expert on its semantics.[9] Apparently reports of FXR's death in 2006[10] were untrue, and his musings continued after this time in the newsletter.

F. X. Reid's most widely known work is "The Song of Hakawatha,"[11][12] a parody of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem The Song of Hiawatha containing references to hacking, Unix and compilers. F. X. Reid has also been mentioned in computer science books.[2][3][13]

Reid has been quoted as saying In program proving, only the presence of bugs in one's proof is ascertainable, not their absence,[14] similar to but not the same as a well-known quotation by E. W. Dijkstra about software testing.


Michael W. Shields has published a number of books including:


  1. "Dr Mike W Shields". UK: University of Surrey. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Shields, Michael W. (1987). An Introduction to Automata Theory. Blackwell Scientific Publications. ISBN 978-0632017560. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Shields, Michael W. (1997). Semantics of Parallelism: Non-interleaving representation of behaviour. Springer. ISBN 978-3540760597. 
  4. "Models of Concurrency and Open Computing". UK: University of Surrey. 24 November 2006. Retrieved 8 November 2012. 
  5. "Mike Shields". LinkedIn. Retrieved 7 November 2012. 
  6. "FXReid". LinkedIn. Retrieved 7 November 2012. 
  7. Shields, M. W. (1987). An Introduction to Automata Theory. pp. 2, 12, 209. ISBN 9780632017560. 
  8. Shields, M. W. (1997). Semantics of Parallelism: Non-interleaving representation of behaviour. pp. 38, 56 ,66. ISBN 9783540760597. 
  9. Reid, F. X. (March 2006). "On the Formal Semantics of the COMEFROM Statement.". FACS FACTS (BCS-FACS) Issue 2006-1: pp. 18–20. Retrieved 7 November 2012. 
  10. Zemantics, Victor (March 2006). "Obituary: F.X. Reid". FACS FACTS (BCS-FACS) Issue 2006-1: pp. 12–14. Retrieved 7 November 2012. 
  11. Reid, F. X. (1989). "The Song Of Hakawatha". Scotland: University of Strathclyde. Archived from the original on 26 March 2005. Retrieved 7 November 2012. 
  12. Irmscher, Christoph (2006). Longfellow Redux. University of Illinois Press. pp. 123, 297. 
  13. Cohen, Bernard; Harwood, William T.; Jackson, Melvyn I. (1986). The Specification of Complex Systems. Addison-Wesley. p. 26. ISBN 978-0201144000. 
  14. "F. X. Reid — The Movie ?". Catalonia: FreakNet Medialab. Retrieved 7 November 2012. 

External links[edit]

Documentation[create] W. Shields was the original source. Read more.