Faculty Profile

John MacCormick

Associate Professor of Computer Science (2007)

Contact Information

on sabbatical 2019-20




John MacCormick has degrees in mathematics from the University of Cambridge and the University of Auckland, and a doctorate in computer vision from the University of Oxford. He was a research fellow at Linacre College, Oxford from 1999-2000, a research scientist at HP Labs from 2000-2003, and a computer scientist with Microsoft Research from 2003-2007. Professor MacCormick joined the faculty of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Dickinson College in Fall 2007. He is the author of three books, including Nine Algorithms That Changed the Future: The Ingenious Ideas That Drive Today's Computers. Professor MacCormick has filed over a dozen US patents on novel computer technologies, and is the author of numerous peer-reviewed academic conference and journal papers. His work spans several sub-fields of computer science, including computer vision, large-scale distributed systems, computer science education, and the public understanding of computer science.


  • B.A., University of Cambridge, 1993
  • M.S., University of Auckland, 1996
  • Ph.D., University of Oxford, 2000

2018-2019 Academic Year

Fall 2018

SCIE 258 Topics in History of Science
The nature of science as a major aspect of Western civilization. Examines science and the scientific enterprise by devoting particular attention to the following: the structuring of basic assumptions about nature and method; social, cultural, and religious dimensions of scientific change and discovery; noted developments in the physical and life sciences. Topics vary and will be announced each term. Recent topics have included: The Scientific Revolution, History of the Physical Sciences, Development of Cosmology, Science and Religion, Light in Science and Art, and Ethnoastronomy.

Spring 2019

SCIE 300 Science and Society
This course is offered on The Dickinson Science Program in England. This course explores cultural, philosophical, and ethical aspects of the interplay between science and society. Particular emphasis will be placed on differences in perspective on scientific issues between Europe and the United States. Examples could include, but not be limited to, topics such as biotechnology, the environment, evolution, and health care, and their past and present representation in the media, literature and art.