Fionn Murtagh#

Short laudatio by Robin Milner#

Prof. Fionn Murtagh is a leader in the field of pattern and data analysis and classification. His contributions to data analysis have taken a distinct computer science approach by being one of the first researchers in the 1980s to take into account time and space computational complexity in data analysis. He has subsequently contributed a variety of mathematically motivated methods to data analysis, often involving massive, high dimensional data sets, and has contributed novel algorithms and evaluated their performance both by using mathematical-statistical methods such as Bayesian analysis and by conducting experimental evaluations and operational deployment.

His leadership position is evidenced by the fact that he is an elected Member of the Royal Irish Academy, a Fellow of the International Association for Pattern Recognition, a Fellow of the British Computer Society (BCS) and of the Royal Statistical Society. He was Editor-in-Chief of The Computer Journal (the British Computer Society’s flagship journal, published by OUP) from 2000 to 2007. He is a long serving editorial board member of the Journal of Classification (Springer), Neurocomputing (Elsevier) and other journals including p-Adic Numbers, Ultrametric Analysis, and Applications (Russian Academy of Sciences, and Springer) and International Journal of Software and Informatics (Academy of Sciences, Beijing). His international recognition in the data analysis community is evidenced by the fact that he is President (2008-2009), of the Classification Society of North America, and President of the British Classification Society (from 2006). He is currently (2008-2011) an elected member of the executive of UKCRC, UK Computing Research Council.

A very active author and researcher, since the early 1980s Prof Murtagh has authored or co-authored 5 books (with CUP, Springer, Kluwer, Chapman & Hall/CRC, and Physica-Verlag) and over 120 papers in leading journals together with many other book and conference contributions (see He was editor of many proceedings volumes and has given many keynotes and other invited presentations. His writings and software represent the state of the art in clustering algorithms. Through a long collaboration with the astronomical community, he has won recognition for being one of the leading pattern and data analysts in the field of astronomical imaging and time series.

He holds Engineering Science and Mathematics degrees from Trinity College Dublin (BA, BAI, 1976), an MSc in Computer Science from TCD (1979), a PhD in Mathematical Statistics from Université P&M Curie, Paris 6 (1981), and an Habilitation (HDR) in Astronomy from Université de Strasbourg (1993).

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