Alex Potanin

Associate Professor, Associate Director HDR, BSEng/BEngSE Convener, and MIEAust


Alex is originally from Moscow, Russia with a background in Mathematics. He completed his PhD in programming languages in 2006 and took up a job as a Lecturer in Software Engineering at Victoria University of Wellington. During his studies, he took short breaks to work as a Visiting Researcher at Purdue University, and Software Engineer at two Wellington start-ups. He spent 2013 on sabbatical at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA, USA. He spent winter 2019/2020 on sabbatical at Kyoto University in Japan.


BSc(Hons), PhD, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand


Can read, write, understand and peer review Russian and English


  • Collaborative projects
  • Join a web conference as a panellist or speaker
  • Masters Research or PhD student supervision
  • Media enquiries
  • Membership of an advisory committee
  • Mentoring (long-term)

Research Interests

Computer System Security, Programming Languages, Software Engineering

Projects for Potential Students

  • While may main interest is cyber security-oriented programming languages, with our capability enabled secure web language called Wyvern developed in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University being my primary project, anything fun to do with programming languages might work.
  • I am always looking for any graduate students. Feel free to email me or drop by my office to discuss your options.


Please click here to see a list of my publications.


Please click here to see a list of my current and previous students.


Please click here to see a list of my current and past courses in my previous job at VUW.

Conference Committees

Please click here to see a list of my current and past conference committee memberships.

Invited Talks

  • Panel on Online Lectures. Invited Panel Member at ICFP 2020 Panel. (August, 2020)
  • Are Your Incoming Aliases Really Necessary? Counting the Cost of Object Ownership. Invited Talk at the International Workshop on Aliasing, Confinement, and Ownership (IWACO) 2017.
  • Life in Academia after your PhD. At PLMW 2015.
  • Wyvern Formalisation. At NII Shonan Meeting 63 in 2015 on Semantics and Verification of Object-Oriented Languages. (21-25 September, 2015)
  • Post PhD/Masters, what are your options? Invited panel member at NZCSRSC 2010, Wellington, NZ. (13th of April, 2010)
  • Young guns/object orientation: the next generation. Invited panel member at OOPSLA 2006, Portland, Oregon, USA. (October, 2006)

You are on Aboriginal land.

The Australian National University acknowledges, celebrates and pays our respects to the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people of the Canberra region and to all First Nations Australians on whose traditional lands we meet and work, and whose cultures are among the oldest continuing cultures in human history.

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