Richard Watts

Welcome to Richard Watts's home page. This page contains a short biography, contact details, and some software and documentation I've made available over the years.

If you have any queries, suggestions, or would like to contact me, please see the contact info section, or send email to


About Me

Career (the potted CV)

(aside: the below was written in 2007; I've since left Amino to start Kynesim where I currently (March 2012) work as CTO; one day I will get around to updating this page properly. I spend most of my time these days worrying about computer architecture and the cost-effective design and implementation of embedded systems). My LinkedIn page is more informative, but also behind their login-wall.

I'm currently working as a software consultant for Amino Communications, a company which makes digital TV set-top boxes, located in Cambridge. Amino bought the company I used to work for - SJ Consulting Ltd - in January 2006. I'm mostly working in C, writing and debugging video and audio codecs, digital filters and resamplers and implementing Windows Media decoding for our set-top boxes (so, MMS, RTSP, ASF demultiplexing, DRM and so forth).

I'm actively looking for new opportunities - hopefully in fairly small startups, so if you're looking for staff and like what you see here, please drop me an email on

From 2003 to 2004, I was a Senior Engineer at Azuro, an EDA startup, where I was involved in specifying and implementing various aspects of new tools for automated integrated circuit optimisation, from systems-level interfacing to the implementation of new optimisation techniques.

Prior to that, from 2001 until 2002, I was a software developer at Transversal, and from 2002 until October 2003, product and development manager for Metafaq, leading a team of between 5 and 7 developers designing and implementing Transversal's flagship information management product.

I hold an M.A. (FIrst class, 1995) and Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge, and I have directed studies in Computer Science at Selwyn College, Cambridge since October 2001. This involves a major role in selecting candidates for admission, and I am responsible for arranging teaching, and overseeing students' academic development. It is usual for at least half our candidates to be placed in the First class, and I was elected a bye-fellow at Selwyn in 2004.

In addition to directing studies, I have also supervised second and third year undergraduates since 1995 in computer science topics ranging from Semantics to Software Engineering.

A short-form CV is available in PDF and MS Word formats. Please get in touch if you'd like the full version, which includes hobbies and my list of publications.


In (what remains of) my spare time, I play electric guitar in a local rock band, build the odd bit of hardware (MCU boards and the like), and for the last three years I've run the stewarding team for the main stage at Strawberry Fair.


My research interests include programming language design, software engineering and project management, human-computer interaction and user interface design, and decision-making under uncertainty and contradiction, which was the subject of my PhD thesis, which you can download here.

I was a member of the programme committee for the CHI 2007 workshop on vocal interaction.



Over the years, I've written various pieces of documentation and software, which you can download from here. I'm afraid many of these are quite old, but I hope that some of them might still be useful.


Filename Description
WrenGROGGS WrenGROGGS is a GROGGS client that tries to be as close as possible to the original PHOENIX client that ran on the University of Cambridge's IBM 3084 mainframe.
ParseBC ParseBC is a perl script which uses the data provided by the International Earth Rotation Service in Paris to convert times in TAI to times in UTC (which is corrected by leap-seconds to keep it in synch with the Earth's rotation) and vice versa. Requires the DateCalc module, available from your friendly neighbourhood CPAN archive or from the parseBC directory. parseBC can also invoke lynx to fetch the relevant data from the IERS's website.
calc.c .. a simple, ANSI C command line calculator, now entering its 12th glorious year.

I have removed some of the software that used to be downloadable from this page - specifically, my Linux kernel patches (to 2.1.x :-)) for better capability support and kernel-level synchronisation, and various Modula-3 hacks. Software which implements my publications is available along with the publications in the next section (no guarantees that it will still work, though! - much of it is quite old).

Publications and documentation

Soon, this section will contain some of my publications and documentation for various things I've done, together with supporting software.


Contact details

The best way to contact me is by email. My canonical email address is, and my CRSID is rrw1000 (so will work). If you need to contact me urgently, you can try calling 01223 512758, and my postal address is:

Richard Watts
190 Kendal Way
Cambridge CB4 1LU

My GPG public key is:

Version: GnuPG v1.2.5 (GNU/Linux)