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Dr Martin Lester

Dr Martin Lester, Lecturer in Computer Science and Undergraduate Admissions Tutor

Chair of SSPG and deputy undergraduate programme director


Room 136

Building location

Polly Vacher

Areas of interest

  • Automated verification, model checking and program analysis
  • Semantics and design of programming languages
  • Information flow security
  • Metaprogramming
  • Logic.

Postgraduate supervision

Dr Lester is seeking PhD students in his areas of interest. He has proposed some suggested projects, which are listed on the PhD opportunities page.


  • Compilers
  • Information Security.


After completing his undergraduate degree in 2006 at the University of Cambridge, Dr Martin Lester worked for a year as a software developer at Autonomy Systems in Cambridge.
In 2008, he went to study for his master's degree and doctorate at the University of Oxford. His master's dissertation was on Higher Order Recursion Schemes; this led to being part of the team that developed THORS, the first model-checker for computational tree logic (CTL) properties of infinite-state systems. His doctoral thesis was on a static information flow security analysis for a JavaScript-like language, with a particular focus on the eval construct, a form of metaprogramming that allows a string to be executed as program code.
From 2013 to 2017, Dr Lester held various teaching positions in Oxford, including as a Senior Teaching Assistant at the Department of Computer Science and as a College Lecturer at Balliol College and Worcester College. Next, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher under Bill Roscoe and Philippa Hopcroft, developing tools for the Coco language for verification of software models.
Dr Lester became a Lecturer at the University of Reading in 2018, and is currently the undergraduate Admissions Tutor, as well as being responsible for organising open and visit days. Lately, his research has focused primarily on the interaction between metaprogramming, program transformation and program analysis.

Academic qualifications

  • MA, Computer Science, Gonville & Caius College, University of Cambridge, 2006
  • MSc, Mathematics and Foundations of Computer Science, St Edmund Hall College, University of Oxford, 2009
  • DPhil, Computer Science, Merton College, University of Oxford, 2015.

Awards and honours

Dr Lester was part of the winning team for the 2011 ICFPPC (Programming Competition run by the International Conference on Functional Programming).

He was part of the organising committee for the 2014 ICFPPC.

Professional bodies/affiliations

  • Member of the British Computer Society – The Chartered Institute for IT
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


See his personal website for more information. You can also find him on DBLP (the computer science bibliography) and LinkedIn.


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