Principles and Methodologies - overview

The Principles and Methodologies Group (A.K.A. the Theory Group) at IBM Research - Almaden explores foundational issues that confront the computing industry today. Because theory cuts across every aspect of computer science, we tend to interact with a large number of other research teams.

Our research includes ongoing work in the following areas:

  • Algorithms: How can we get computers to solve problems efficiently?
  • Complexity: What computational resources (time, storage, etc) do problems inherently require?
  • Database Principles: What models and algorithms are useful in helping computers store and retrieve information efficiently?


A one-page description with an emphasis on applications.


Ron Fagin, IBM Fellow!

On April 10, 2012, theory group member Ron Fagin was named an IBM Fellow. This is IBM's highest technical distinction; there have been only 238 IBM Fellows since the program began in 1963. See here for more, and an interview with Ron.

Tribute to John Backus

A tribute to John Backus, one of the first members of our Theory Group, written by Alex Aiken