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Indiana University Bloomington

School of Informatics and Computing


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Michael Dunn

Professor Emeritus of Informatics and Computer Science

Former Dean of Informatics
Photo of Michael  Dunn

Contact Information

dunn [at]
(812) 856-5418
Informatics West, Room 316
Office hours: By appointment

Other Titles and Honors

  • Emeritus Oscar R. Ewing Professor of Philosophy
  • Founding Member, Cognitive Science Program


  • Ph.D. in Philosophy (Logic) at University of Pittsburgh, 1966
  • A.B. in Philosophy at Oberlin College, 1963


Curriculum Vitae »

J. Michael Dunn recently retired. He remains in Bloomington and continues to be connected to the School of Informatics and Computing at IU Bloomington. He was the founding dean of Indiana University’s School of Informatics, as well as professor of informatics, Oscar Ewing Professor of Philosophy and professor of computer science. He was also one of the founding faculty members of the Cognitive Science Program.

Dunn was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and went to high school in Lafayette, Indiana. He graduated with an A.B. in Philosophy from Oberlin College in 1963, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy (Logic) from the University of Pittsburgh in 1966. He taught at Wayne State University and at Yale before coming to IU Bloomington in 1969.

Dunn’s primary research interest is the logic of relevance, as well as other information-based logics. Dunn’s research focuses on information based logics and relations between logic and computer science. He is particularly interested in so-called “sub-structural logics” including intuitionistic logic, relevance logic, linear logic, BCK-logic, and the Lambek Calculus. He has developed an algebraic approach to these and many other logics under the heading of “gaggle theory” (for generalized galois logics), which is contained in a series of papers and in his book with Gary Hardegree Algebraic Methods in Philosophical Logic (Oxford , 2001) and in a book with Katalin Bimbó Generalized Galois Logics: Relational Semantics of Nonclassical Logical Calculi (CSLI Publications 2008). He also works on quantum logic, and most recently on its relationship to quantum computation.

He is the author of five books and over 80 articles. His research has been recognized by awards from Fulbright, NEH, ACLS, and NSF. He has been a visitor at the Australian National University, the University of Melbourne, Oxford University, and various other universities for shorter periods of time. He has been President of the Society for Exact Philosophy, and on the Council of the Association for Symbolic Logic. He has been an editor of The Journal of Symbolic Logic and chief editor of The Journal of Philosophical Logic. He has chaired or co-chaired 17 Ph.D. committees (in Philosophy, Computer Science, and Mathematics).

He is listed in “Who’s Who in America” and “Who’s Who in the World,” and in the Indiana Business Journal’s “Who’s Who in Technology.” In 2001 he was a winner of the Techpoint (Indiana Information Technology Association) Mira Award for Outstanding Information Technology Educator, and in 2002 accepted the Mira Award for the School of Informatics’ Outstanding Educational Contribution to IT. In 2004 he was elected an Honorary Member of Phi Beta Kappa, and in 2006 he was given the Bookends Award at annual i-Schools Conference for “vision and pioneering leadership in the formation of the i-schools community.” In 2007 he was made a Sagamore of the Wabash by the Goverbir of Indiana. He was also awarded the Indiana University-Bloomington Provost’s Medal. In 2010 he was elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Dunn has been involved in faculty governance, having served on both the Bloomington and University Faculty Councils (co-chairing the Budgetary Affairs Committee of each), and serving on the College Policy Committee. He has been Bloomington chair of the Alliance of Distinguished Rank Professors.

Dunn was an early advocate of the role of personal computers on campus. In the early 1980’s he wrote a computer plan for Philosophy which was approved among the first four such plans for the Bloomington campus, and in 1988 he created an interdisciplinary major between Philosophy and Computer Science. He served on various campus and university committees relating to computing, starting with the old BCCUC (Bloomington Campus Computer Use Committee). He chaired the University Information Technology Committee (1997-99), and in this role oversaw the creation of a strategic plan for information technology at IU.

Dunn has combined his faculty and administrative roles throughout more than half of his career. Besides his deanship he served two terms as chair of the Philosophy Department, and a term as executive associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He now serves on the visiting committee of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Cincinnati and on the Academic Council of the University of Dubai.

Dunn has been active in civic service. He has been president and vice president of the Old Northeast Downtown Neighborhood Association (and helped found the association). He has served on the Board of Bloomington Restorations, and as chair of the City of Bloomington’s Council on Neighborhood Improvements. He has also served on the Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Task Force, and the CareersINsite Board. He currently serves on the board of HealthLINC (the regional health information exchange).

Dunn lives in a historic house near campus with his wife Sally, who worked until she retired as dean of University Division (“the freshman division”). Their hobbies include travel, historic restoration, and gardening. They have two grown married children, and one grandchild.

Research Areas

  • Algebraic Logic
  • Information Based Logics
  • Non-Standard Logics (esp. Relevance Logic)
  • Proof Theory
  • Quantum Computation
  • Quantum Logic
  • Relations Between Logic and Computer Science