For contributions to the development of functional programming.
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As a lecturer at the University of Glasgow, Launchbury focused his early research on the semantics and analysis of lazy functional languages and was one of the contributing designers of the Haskell programming language, which Apple developers later cited as one of the influences behind the Swift programming language. In 1993, Launchbury provided a formal description of lazy evaluation, addressing challenges in analyzing a program’s storage requirements. The operational semantics is widely cited in later research on Haskell. In the context of the Glasgow Haskell Compiler team, Launchbury established an effective partnership with Simon L. Peyton Jones to write a number of papers that dramatically influenced the design of Haskell. Their 1995 paper on State in Haskell introduced the “IO monad” as a mathematically-clean practical way of expressing effects on the external world, and solidified the “do-notation” Launchbury had introduced earlier. Their papers on unboxed values and removal of intermediate data structures addressed many of the efficiency challenges inherent in lazy evaluation. In 1994, Launchbury relocated to the West Coast of the United States, becoming a full professor at the Oregon Graduate Institute in 2000. His research there addressed the creation and optimization of domain-specific programming languages (DSLs) ranging from fundamental research in combining disparate semantic elements, through embedding DLSs in Haskell, to applied research for modeling and reasoning about very-large scale integration (VLSI) micro-architectures. Launchbury founded Galois Inc. in 1999 to address challenges in information assurance through the application of functional programming and formal methods. He served as the company’s CEO and Chief Scientist from 2000 to 2014. Under Launchbury’s direction, Galois Inc. developed the Cryptol domain-specific language for specifying and verifying cryptographic implementations. Originally designed for use by the National Security Agency, the language was made available to the public in 2008. Launchbury is the holder of two patents on cryptographic structures in data storage and one on effective mechanisms for configuring programmable cryptographic components. In 2014, Launchbury joined DARPA, initially as a program manager, and then as director of the Information Innovation Office (I2O) in 2015. Launchbury led programs in homomorphic cryptography (PROCEED), cybersecurity for vehicles and other embedded systems (HACMS), and data privacy (Brandeis