Paul Keir

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Personal profile

Area of academic expertise - outline

Following a number of years within the video games industry, in roles including software engineer and managing director, an appetite to investigate research topics including high-performance parallel computing systems; compilers for GPGPU and heterogeneous multicore architectures; low-power computing; functional programming; and C++ template metaprogramming led to a Ph.D. and subsequent leading roles in EU FP7 projects such as Peppher, LPGPU and CARP.

Current research activities

My current research investigates the implementation of parallel programming models for GPGPU programming, including Khronos SYCL. I am co-investigator on 3 Innovate UK KTP projects (Lumen Research, Visual Management Systems, and Kibble); and contributor to many open source projects including GCC, LLVM and Boost. I also lead the ongoing development of a highly generic C++20 metaprogramming library (Curtains), as well as of a compile-time implementation of the C++20 standard library (C'est). I am a member of the Khronos advisory panels for both SYCL and OpenCL, and a regular attendee of the BSI C++ Panel.

My current research students include:

  • 2016 – Present: Mr Andrew Gozillon (M.Phil./Ph.D.), Metaprogramming for Heterogeneous Parallelism (Funded by the University of the West of Scotland)
  • 2018 – Present: Mr Raymond Holder (M.Phil./Ph.D.), Applications of Immersive Technology to Pedagogy for Tertiary Education (Funded by the University of the West of Scotland)

Desired research direction

A key structural change in modern computing is the move towards highly parallel, low-power, and heterogeneous hardware architectures. My research aims to tackle challenges integrated with such developments, including the need to manage the complexity of software development through novel parallel programming models; the reduction in computing's carbon footprint through the use of related frameworks; the application of functional programming and advanced type checking mechanisms to provide reassurance of software correctness; and extends to efforts aiming to improve performance portability in computational science. I am also interested in the long-term improvements to human-computer interaction (HCI) facilitated by the novel integration of eye tracking, along with augmented and virtual reality in ubiquitous computing; and the relevance of such opportunities for future smart cities.

Target collaborative companies

  • Software Tools
  • Semiconductors
  • Gaming and Interactive Graphics

Target collaborative organisations

  • High Performance Computing
  • Functional Programming
  • Compiler Technology

Other areas of expertise available for knowledge exchange

  • Functional Programming
  • C++ and Template Metaprogramming
  • Parallel and GPGPU Programming
  • Parsing, Translation and Compiler Technology
  • Message Passing Interface Programming
  • Embedded, Games Console, and Interactive 3D Graphics Development

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Devlopment Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities


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