Welcome to the non-home page of Lee Naish

Dr. Lee Naish
Senior Fellow
School of Computing and Information Systems
The University of Melbourne
Victoria 3010

E-mail: Preferred: Dr. Lee. Naish (without the spaces) at gmail dot com. The heritage version, lee at cs.mu.oz.au was unfortunately discontinued long ago; but unimelb.edu.au still currently works.
WWW: Preferred: https://lee-naish.github.io/ (my University of Melbourne page http://people.eng.unimelb.edu.au/lee and my official impersonal page may continue to be maintained but at some point I'll cease to be a staff member and these pages will no doubt get out of date and eventually vanish)
Phone (department): +61 3 8344 1500
Fax: +61 3 9349 4596
Legs: I no longer have an office - the building where I most recently had an office was too small for our growing department to allocate space to honorary staff. The department has since moved to Melbourne Connect.
Telex: Hey, its the third millennium! Who uses that obsolete technology nowadays? You don't really want my telex number do you? Oh. Ok, its AA 35185.
My PGP public key

This page is not under construction. It is finished, complete, perfect and faultless. /strong>

"Can I have Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, e-mail, Spam, news and Spam without the Spam?"


As from the start of December 2013 I stopped paid work (I have no teaching or admin duties - if you think I'm the right person to contact, think again) and was diagnosed with a terminal illness, which amplifies the following old message. As from the start of March 2000 I have been working half time due to health reasons. Unfortunately, my e-mail load didn't immediately drop by half and it is a major obstacle to getting other work done. In addition, I have become a father, causing somewhat of an e-mail backlog amongst other things. So, please direct enquiries as below. If you do send me e-mail, make sure the subject line and start don't look like spam - my "delete without looking further" threshold has been lowered.
Topic Direct to
Fire breathing /dev/null
International student internships/studentships /dev/null
Spam /dev/null

Research Interests

Ever since I was an undergraduate Computer Science student I have been fascinated by reasoning about program correctness, and this has been a central theme of my research ever since. It can be summed up by the following question.
How can we clarify the relationships between what we want a computer to do (which is in our head), the programs we write (syntactic objects), and what they make a computer do (a sequence of execution states, hopefully ending up with what we wanted)?
This has naturally lead to an interest in declarative programming languages: topics such as programming language design and implementation, declarative debugging (reasoning about incorrectness) and semantics.

I have also worked on debugging using program spectra (eg. data on what statements are executed in each of a set of passed or failed tests). This has lead to an interest in set similarity. For debugging, we expect the set of test cases which fail to be "similar" to the set of test cases which execute a buggy statement (more similar than for correct statements at least). More than a hundred different ways of measuring set similarity have been used and it is an important problem throughout science and is a special case for machine learning and data mining.

Other interests have included algorithm animation (the Algorithms In Action system), information economics and vote counting. Since I took up road cycling my physical fitness has improved but my research output has dropped considerably. However, I'm still very keen to get what I think are some important ideas published, preferable with co-authors.

Interesting? You might like to take a look at some of my

The list of papers is sometimes a bit out of date. If you are a prospective PhD student I would be glad to hear from you, but please be as specific as possible about what research topic you are interested in. Also, due to my health status it will be necessary for you to find a co-supervisor and for a while now I've been spending a lot more time riding my bikes than doing academic work, so I'm getting a bit left behind with the lastest research.

I have some input into the supervision of the following postgraduate students:
Name Topic
Dr. Neelofar (completed, her Thesis) Debugging using program spectra
Dr. James Zhang (completed) Computer-aided manufacturing
Dr. Peter Eckersley (flew the coop
but finally delivered - yay!)
Information economics
Dr. Jason Lee (completed, his Thesis) Debugging using program spectra
Dr. Bernie Pope (completed, winner of the ACS
distinguished dissertation award for 2007)
Declarative debugging of Haskell


From 2014 I have no teaching committments (see above). In the distant past I have been involved with subjects such as


I was once the best Privacy Liaison Officer our department had ever had. I'm not sure if that role still exists and I am still looking forward to the time when we have a web page listing who is responsible for what in the department.

I also put in a submission to the 2005/2006 Review of the Faculty of Engineering.


Yes, I do have a life (or did when I last wrote this section)... You might like to check out
Due to ammendment number 73 of 1996 of Regulation 8.1.R7 of The University of Melbourne I am compelled to include the following fascinating information: