Luca Cardelli

Programming with Chemical Reactions

Theory and Logic Group, and VCLA hosting a talk by Luca Cardelli

DATE:Thursday, November 22, 2018
TIME:16:00 c.t.
VENUE:Seminar room Zemanek, Favoritenstrasse 9-11. 1040 Vienna, ground floor


Chemical reactions have been widely used to describe natural phenomena, but increasingly we are capable to use them to prescribe physical interaction, e.g. in DNA computing. Thus, chemical reaction networks can be used as programs that can be physically realized to produce and control molecular arrangements. Because of their relative simplicity and familiarity, and more subtly because of their computational power, they are quickly becoming a paradigmatic “programming language” for bioengineering. We discuss what can be programmed with chemical reactions, and how these programs can be physically realized.


Luca Cardelli has made exceptional contributions to the field of programming languages and beyond. His main interests are in programming languages and concurrency, and more recently in programmable biology and nanotechnology. Cardelli is distinguished for his achievements which span areas such as software; language design, including experimental languages; programming language foundations; and the interaction of programming languages and biology. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), an Elected Member of the Academia Europaea, and an Elected Member of the Association Internationale pour les Technologies Objets (AITO), Luca Cardelli has a M.Sc. in computer science from the University of Pisa, and a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Edinburgh. He worked in the USA at Bell Labs, Murray Hill, from 1982 to 1985, and at Digital Equipment Corporation, Systems Research Center in Palo Alto, from 1985 to 1997, and at Microsoft Research, in Cambridge UK from 1997 to 2018 where he was head of the Programming Principles and Tools and Security groups until 2012. Since 2013 he is a Royal Society Research Professor at the University of Oxford. His great polymathic interest is shown in detail on his personal website:


Agata Ciabattoni, Ezio Bartocci

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