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Fellows Directory

Michael Burrows

Michael Burrows

Dr Michael Burrows FRS


Elected: 2013


Michael Burrows is a computer scientist who has made seminal contributions to the field of web search and indexing. One of the two main creators of the AltaVista search engine, he also led on the design of Google’s distributed computing network.

After completing a PhD at the Computer Laboratory at the University of Cambridge in 1988, Michael fast became an authority on the application of formal logic to the verification of security protocols. He also conducted important work on data compression, and is credited with the invention of the Burrows–Wheeler transform, which has valuable applications in the sequencing of DNA.

The holder of numerous patents for his work in computing, Michael was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2013. He is currently based at Google in the United States, where he continues his research into distributed systems and parallel computing.

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Engineering
    • Computer engineering (including software)
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