Murdoch Gabbay teaching pages

Contact details

Everybody calls me Jamie.
m typeadot gabbay at hw ac don’ttypethis uk
Office phone
+44 (0)131 451 3425
Office fax
+44 (0)131 451 3327
G.50 Earl Mountbatten Building. See pdf and jpg campus maps. Careful: it’s a maze, so plan your route or bring provisions and a compass.
MACS switchboard if I don’t pick up (it’s not personal)
+44 (0)131 451 4156
Address for actual physical envelopes that you have to seal shut
Dependable Systems Group
Computer Science Department
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University

The 2018 industrial action

We were all affected by the 2018 industrial action by UK university staff. The action is over, but the forces which led to it remain relevant. You may find the following links helpful:
- A plain English explanation of the dispute.
- A blog post, part of a larger site on the marketisation of higher eduction.
- An article in the New York times. It is written from a US perspective, but it is relevant.
- You may also be interested in the Guardian on executive pay, and the BBC on a similar topic.

Know this: education is not a commodity. I had a good education. You need one too. The very fabric of our society depends on how we choose to educate your co-workers, your boss, your employees, and your children. Do as your conscience dictates, but understand the stakes.

Language Processors

In Semester 2, 2018/19 I am lecturing the Language Processors course to third year computer science students, colecturing with Arash Eshghi.

Lectures times for weeks 1-6 are as follows:
- Mondays at 14:15 in EM3.36.
- Tuesdays at 10:15 in EM1.83.
- Tuesdays at 14:15 in EM1.82.
- There are also labs. I will discuss this in lectures.

See also the webpage for last year’s course.

F21SM Software Engineering Masterclass

- The Projects webpage
- A description of assessment and marksheets
- The peer feedback form (for convenience also appended to the previous document).
- F21SM on Vision (you need to be already logged in to Vision for this direct link to work).


- Please see the F21DG deliverables instructions

Programming Languages

In Semester 1, 2018/19 I lectured the Programming Languages course to second year computer science students.

Lecture times are as follows:
- Thursday at 11:15 in JW2.
- Thursday at 13:15 in EM250 (lab).
- Thursday at 15:15 in JW1.
- Friday at 15:15 in PGG01.

See also:
- The webpage for last year’s course.
- Some comments on how to answer the question.
- Some comments on how to answer a programming question.
- A poem on programming.
- A talk on easy recording of lectures.

IT Masterclass

Information is here.

Web Design and Databases

In Semester 2, 2015/16 I lectured the Web Design and Databases course to first year computer science students, colecturing with Albert Burger.

Lectures times were as follows:
- Mondays at 12:15 in LT2.
- Mondays (lab) at 13:15 in EM2.50.
- Wednesdays at 12:15 in EM3.36.

Every so often I stumble on some webpage that seems relevant to a course I am teaching. So, students (and other visitors to this webpage) might be interested in the following links:
- On weak versus strong typing from Stevey’s Drunken Blog Rants.
- Musings on whether Python has strong or weak typing. Of most interest perhaps is that the question is even asked.
- Quite a nice article (one of many) on problem shapes by Matt Might.

Departmental seminars

Departmental seminars are managed by Rob Stewart. See
- the list, and
- the calendar.

Technical writing and dissertations (F20PA, F21RP)

See my talks
- on technical writing (slides).
- video from 2018.
- video from 2016.
- on common pitfalls (slides).

See also
- Yankovic’s Youtube video on Word Crimes.
- Kurt Vonnegut on how to write with style.
- Kevin Plaxco on the art of writing science.
- George Orwell on the English language.
- Elements of style

Swedish Chef

For your convenience, this webpage is available in Swedish Chef (what’s that?).


I am a lecturer in theoretical computer science. My research is mostly in formal logic. You can find my my academic publications. I have also written some tips on writing papers and managing co-authors.

Jewish festivals

I missed my ten-year university reunion because my Alma Mater booked it for Yom Kippur. Likewise for my final school graduation.
If you book important functions during the high holy days of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur then you force many Jews to exclude themselves, even those that are otherwise not particularly religious.
- Yom Kippur dates
- Rosh Hashana dates
Observent Jews will also not turn up on Shabbat (any Saturday), Sukkot, Chanukkah, Purim, and Passover.
- Introduction to Jewish holidays
- Holiday dates for the next five years
- Jewish calendar 2016, 2017, 2018


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