Professor John Slaney

Emeritus Professor
Research Area:
MA (Cambridge), PhD (ANU)
+61 2 6125 8607

I was born in England but escaped, taught logic in philosophy departments for several years, escaped again and moved to Canberra in 1988 where I have been automating reasoning ever since.

I like doing this. The ANU is an idyllic place to be a researcher, Canberra is a better city to live in than you would believe from listening to Australians from anywhere else, and I actually get paid for thinking about logic and hacking code! That's as good as it gets.

Other likes: travel, good food (enthusiastic but inexpert cook), classical music (ditto pianist).

Dislikes: no really interesting ones (sorry).


  • Relevant logic
  • Other substructural logics
  • Paraconsistency
  • Temporal logic
  • MaGIC

Automatic theorem proving

  • ROO (Radically Optimized Otter)
  • SCOTT (Semantically Constrained Otter)
  • Miscellaneous contributions

Artificial Intelligence

  • Constraint satisfaction
  • Search
  • Planning

Research Outline

I aim to make computers better at logical reasoning, by which I mean not only finding proofs, but also analysing, diagnosing, planning, modelling and even explaining situations and events.

Research Description

Years ago I worked mainly on generalising the standard paradigms of logic with a view to taking into account "awkward" features of reasoning such as vagueness and inconsistency. Later my research was more concerned with algorithms for automated reasoning and related aspects of artificial intelligence. While continuing to be interested in all of that, I am currently obsessed with the problem of how implemented reasoning systems should interact with human users. This is forcing me to think about a range of issues, from the nature of explanation to the technical aspects of visualisation, which are challenging and fascinating.

Joshua Bax

Mr Joshua Bax »


Nursulu Kuspanova

Nursulu Kuspanova »

Honours Student

COMP2000 series courses
Code Title Year 20.. Semester
COMP2620 Logic 18, 19, 20, 21 S1
COMP4000 series courses
Code Title Year 20.. Semester
COMP4005F Information Technology IV Hono... 15, 16, 17, 18 S1, S2
COMP4005P Information Technology IV Hono... 15, 16, 17, 18 S1, S2
COMP6000 series courses
Code Title Year 20.. Semester
COMP6262 Logic 18, 19, 20, 21 S1
COMP8000 series courses
Code Title Year 20.. Semester
COMP8800 Computing Research Project 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 S1, S2

Updated:  1 June 2019/Responsible Officer:  Dean, CECS/Page Contact:  CECS Marketing