Bookmark this page Bookmarked
Tom Crick Profile Photo

Tom Crick

SSI fellow

Swansea University

Professor of Digital Policy (2018-present) and Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (2021-2023) at Swansea University; Chief Scientific Adviser at the UK Government's Department for Culture, Media and Sport (2023-present).


Tom's research interests lie at the hardware/software interface (and the performance of each): compilers, code optimisation, next-generation microprocessors, high performance computing. He is also interested in novel applications of intelligent systems, declarative problem solving, knowledge representation and reasoning.

His PhD research at the University of Bath (funded by an EPSRC DTA) developed a practical framework for superoptimisation: generating provably optimal code sequences using logic programming. Code optimisation in modern compilers is an accepted misnomer for performance improvement some of the time. The code that compilers generate is often significantly improved, but it is unlikely to produce optimal sequences of instructions; and if it does, is not possible to determine that they are indeed optimal. Superoptimisation is a novel approach to generating optimal code that performs searches over the space of all possible instructions. Rather than starting with naively generated code and improving it, a superoptimiser starts with the specification of a function and performs a directed search for the optimal sequence of instructions that fulfils this specification.

Tom is a member of HiPEAC, the European Network of Excellence on High Performance and Embedded Architectures and Compilation, and is currently collaborating with Microsoft Research Cambridge and HP Bristol on applications of superoptimisation. He is also working with Cardiff University on formal methods for analysing and brokering computational resources in cloud environments.

Alongside his research, Tom is a passionate advocate for computing science: he sits on the Board of Directors of the Campaign for Science & Engineering, the leading independent advocate for science and engineering in the UK, as well as the National Assembly for Wales Cross-Party Group on Science & Technology. He is also the Chair in Wales of Computing At School (CAS) and a Trustee of The BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT and has recently chaired the Welsh Government’s review of the ICT curriculum.

ORCID: 0000-0001-5196-9389

Fields of expertise: Computer science, data science, computational social science, education and skills, public policy

Google scholar page

Github page

Tom blogs at Digtal, Data, and Policy and you can find him on Twitter @ProfTomCrick.

Check out contributions by and mentions of Tom Crick on