David Luckham

David Luckham is an emeritus professor of electrical engineering at Stanford University.[1] As a graduate student at MIT he was one of the implementers of the first LISP system.[2]

David Luckham
Kingston, Jamaica
ResidenceUnited States
NationalityBritish, American
Alma materMIT
Known forLISP
Automated Theorem Proving
Stanford Pascal Verifier
Complex Event Processing
Scientific career
FieldsComputer Science
InstitutionsStanford University

He is best known as the originator of Complex Event Processing (CEP) as proposed in his book, "The Power of Events" published in 2002. CEP consists of a set of concepts and techniques for processing real time events and extracting information from event streams as they arrive. CEP has since become an enabling technology in many systems that are used to take immediate action in response to incoming streams of events. Applications are described in this book that may now be found in many sectors of business including stock market trading systems, mobile devices, internet operations, fraud detection, the transportation industry, and governmental intelligence gathering. The book also describes advanced event processing techniques such as event abstraction and event hierarchies that are not yet in general practice. Luckham's latest book is "Event Processing for Business", published by Wiley in Nov. 2012.

David Luckham has held faculty and invited faculty positions in both mathematics and computer science at eight major universities in Europe and the United States. He was one of the founders of Rational Software, Inc. in 1981. He supplied both the Ada compiler from which the company's first products were developed and served as a member of the initial software development team. An acknowledged leader in high-level, multiprocessing programming languages, annotation languages, and event-based simulation systems for both hardware and software architectures, Dr. Luckham has published more than one hundred technical articles, two of them winning ACM/IEEE Best Paper Awards.

He was born in Kingston, Jamaica and raised in London during the blitz of World War II. He holds M.Sc.(London) and Ph.D.(MIT) degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science.


  • David Luckham: The Power of Events - An Introduction to Complex Event Processing in Distributed Enterprise Systems, Addison-Wesley, ISBN 0-201-72789-7.
  • David Luckham: Event Processing for Business - Organizing the Real-Time Enterprise, Wiley, ISBN 978-0470534854.


  1. "David Luckham", Stanford University Electrical Engineering website
  2. McCarthy, J.; Brayton, R.; Edwards, D.; Fox, P.; Hodes, L.; Luckham, D.; Maling, K.; Park, D.; Russell, S. (March 1960), LISP I Programmers Manual (PDF), Boston, Massachusetts: Artificial Intelligence Group, M.I.T. Computation Center and Research Laboratory Accessed May 11, 2010.
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