Friday, February 09, 2024

EATCS Fellows 2024: Call for Nominations

The call for nominations for EATCS Fellows 2024 is out. I strongly encourage members of the EATCS to submit nominations for some of the many members of the association who would deserve this recognition. The deadline for submitting your nominations is March 7, 2024

The submission of a nomination is easy and lightweight, but it does require the writing of a strong letter of nomination (preferably two separate ones, if my previous experience as nominator is anything to go by) co-signed by several EATCS members. Note that the nominee and the nominators must be members of the EATCS. (If you are now a member of the EATCS, I strongly encourage you to join! See this web page for details on how to do so and for the benefits of becoming a member. Becoming a member of the EATCS is easy and cheap. I assure you that every cent is used by the association to support TCS-related activities and awards.)

My colleagues in the EATCS Fellows Selection Committee and I look forward to receiving your nominations, and to bestowing this accolade upon some of the nominees!

On a personal note, I'd be delighted to see several of our top-class female colleagues nominated for the role of EATCS Fellow.

Monday, January 22, 2024

World Logic Day 2024 in Tallinn

On Monday, 15 January 2024,  colleagues in Tallinn organised the Estonian event contributing to the World Logic Day 2024.  Apart from showcasing some of the exciting logic-related work that is going on in Estonia, the event featured the following three, one-hour-long invited talks:

  • Jan von Plato (U. of Helsinki), "Kurt Gödel's life and work in the light of his shorthand notebooks,"
  • Valentin Goranko (Stockholm U.), "Logics for strategic reasoning of socially interacting rational agents," and 
  • Margus Veanes (Microsoft Research), "The impact of logic in formal methods at Microsoft."
Jan von Plato's talk reported on some of the work his research group has done in the context of the ERC Advanced Grant GODELIANA, which is devoted to the study of the thousands of pages that Kurt Gödel wrote in a German shorthand that very few people in the world can decipher today. In his talk, Jan von Plato told the audience how the study of Gödel's notes reveals how Gödel became a logician and how he developed the ideas in his seminal and celebrated published output. Moreover, apparently Gödel left behind a book-length collection of finished, unpublished new results largely on set theory and intuitionistic logic. Overall, that amounted to about 2,500 pages of publishable results in a variety of fields that Gödel told to nobody and part of which was published by others later on! 

The part of those notebooks devoted to results on the foundations of mathematics is described in the recently-published book "Kurt Gödel: Results on Foundations", edited by Maria Hämeen-Anttila and Jan von Plato.   Overall, this was fascinating account of the thus-far-below-water iceberg of Kurt Gödel's scientific work. 

In his talk, Valentin Goranko offered an overview of some work on the use of formal logics to reason about collections of agents that act "rationally" to achieve individual and/or collective goals. His talk was based on a recent survey paper of his, to which I refer interested readers for information on that line of research. Here, I will limit myself to saying that the logics for strategic reasoning presented in Goranko's talk allow one to express properties such as 

"The coalition of agents A has a joint action to ensure satisfaction of its coalitional goal G in every outcome state that may result from that joint action." 
"For every joint action of the coalition A that ensures satisfaction of its goal G(A), there is a joint action of the coalition B that ensures satisfaction of its goal G(B)." 

Margus Veanes delivered a "tool-oriented" talk, in the sense that he surveyed a wealth of tools for computer-aided verification and validation developed at Microsoft Research that have their roots in a variety of logic-based formal methods. His talk clearly indicated the practical impact that logic has had on software development at Microsoft and elsewhere. 

I thank our Estonian colleagues for organising such an interesting event and for streaming it online.

Disclaimer: I hope that I have not misrepresented anything in the text above and encourage you to check the speakers' work to be sure. If you attended the event and would like to share your opinions on it, please do so by posting a comment!

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Postdoctoral position in the field of cyber-physical systems at the Gran Sasso Science Institute

Catia Trubiani has one postdoctoral position funded by the Italian PRIN project "DREAM, modular software design to reduce uncertainty in ethics-based cyber-physical systems" at the Gran Sasso Science Institute - Computer Science Group. The call is available at the following link: 

The firm deadline for application is 31 January 2024 at 3pm (Italian time). 

The Computer Science Group at the Gran Sasso Science Institute has already received excellent results in the latest national evaluation exercise in Italy. Most importantly, it provides a nurturing environment where a postdoctoral researcher can further their career and Catia Trubiani is a thoughtful mentor who provides a lot of support to everyone in her research environment. 

Spread the news and/or apply yourself!

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Eleven postdoc positions in Computer Science at the Gran Sasso Science Institute

The Computer Science group at the Gran Sasso Science Institute (GSSI) in L'Aquila, Italy, has advertised 11 postdoctoral positions, nine of which are related to specific projects and two are open to applicants with a research profile connected to any of the research areas covered by the group (algorithms, formal methods and software engineering, broadly construed). See pages 3-6 of the official call for details on the specific positions and pages 8-9 for information on benefits, requirements, and the application and selection procedures. The deadline for applications is December 14, 2023 at 15:00 (Italian time zone). 

In my, admittedly biased, opinion, the CS group at the GSSI offers a welcoming and supportive research environment for young researchers of all ages. The GSSI as a whole is a place where a young researcher can thrive and have impact. 

I'd be grateful if you could spread the news amongst potential applicants or apply yourself

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

LIPIcs and International Open Access Week 2023

This week (23-29 October 2023)  is International Open Access Week 2023. The theme of this year's event is "Community over Commercialization" and its goal is to encourage "a candid conversation about which approaches to open scholarship prioritize the best interests of the public and the academic community—and which do not." You can read more here

As I mentioned in a previous post, I like to think that LIPIcs has followed the theme of this year's open access week well since its foundation and has provided an affordable and high-quality open access publication outlet to conferences in computer science. 

Since October 2017, LIPIcs has published 195 volumes with a total of 8,261 articles and approximately 143,000 pages. The LIPIcs series has grown steadily from 25 published volumes (with approximately 1,100 articles) in 2017 to 36 published volumes (with roughly 1,450 articles) in 2022. However, there is still room for some growth and I encourage the steering committees of high-quality conferences in any field of computer science that do not publish their proceedings in open access form to ask their communities whether that's in their best interests and whether they'd prefer to switch to LIPIcs. 

In my, admittedly very biased, opinion, the editorial board of LIPIcs evaluates all applications to publish in the series carefully and maintains a dialogue with the conferences in the LIPIcs community, providing feedback as needed in order to try and contribute to the healthy developments of those events. Of course, the editorial board realises that each conference knows what is best for its community, but sometimes an external opinion can help to identify weaknesses that might be developing in the way a conference is run and that are best pointed out by an external body. In any event, the keyword is "dialogue" and we all benefit from an open exchange of opinions in all facets of our work and life. 

This coming October 31 will mark the end of my third and last two-year term as chair of the editorial board of LIPIcs. From November 1, Meena Mahajan will be the chair of that board. I wish Meena the best of luck for her new role, even though she doesn't need any luck. I have no doubt that, with the support of the editorial board, she will continue to foster community over commercialisation and increase the impact that LIPIcs has on the computer science community.  

If you are reading this blog post and your conference publishes its proceedings with LIPIcs, I'd be very grateful if you could post your opinions on LIPIcs and a testimonial with your experience of working with LIPIcs either as comments to this article or by sending me a piece of text that I can use as a guest post on this blog. 

On behalf of everyone involved in LIPIcs, I thank the computer science community for its support!

Friday, October 20, 2023

Interview with the CONCUR 2023 Test-of-Time Award recipients

I just saw that an interview with the recipients of the CONCUR 2023 Test-of-Time Award is available here. I am very happy to see the work by Vincent Danos and Jean Krivine repoted in their article "Reversible Communicating Systems", published at CONCUR 2004, recognised with this prestigious award and that someone interviewed the award recipients. Enjoy!

Friday, July 07, 2023

LIPIcs: Affordable, high-quality and open-access proceedings of conferences in Computer Science

As I hope many members of the theoretical computer science community know, LIPIcs, Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics, is a series of high-quality conference proceedings covering the whole spectrum of research in informatics, which has been run since 2008 in cooperation with Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz Center for Informatics

The founders of LIPIcs wanted to offer high-quality conferences in Computer Science a venue for publishing their proceedings open access in an affordable way. To date, LIPIcs has published 262 volumes (see DBLP and the LIPIcs web portal) that are free to read for everyone and whose publication costs are kept as low as possible (currently 60 € per paper) and are subsidised by the participants in the relevant conferences. By way of comparison, readers might want to peruse the cost of publishing open access in Springer conference proceedings (at least 30 € per page) or in an Elsevier journal. By way of example, publishing an open access article in Theoretical Computer Science costs 2,370 €, according to the price list dated 19 June 2023 that is available from the Elsevier site. The price for an open-access article in Information and Computation is 2,400 €. Information on the ACM open access pricing is here. If at least one of the authors is a member of the ACM or of one of its SIGs, the cost of publishing an article open access is 1000 USD for ACM journals and 700 USD for conference proceedings.

Conferences that publish their proceedings with LIPIcs include CONCUR, CSL, DISC, ECOOP, ESA, FSTTCS, ICALP, ICDT, IPEC, ITCS, MFCS, SoCG, STACS and many other events readers of this blog will recognise. Conferences such as FORC, ITC, SAT and Advances in Financial Technologies were recent additions to the LIPIcs portfolio. To the best of my knowledge, so far none of the conferences that have started publishing their proceedings with LIPIcs have left the series. I take this fact to mean that those conferences are happy with the service and visibility that LIPIcs provides.

To give you an idea of the growth of LIPIcs, as well as of Dagstuhl Publishing as a whole, I will limit myself to mentioning that, in 2016, the LIPIcs conference proceedings series had 27 annual and biennial conferences in its portfolio and published 16 conference proceedings volumes with a total of 555 articles. By 2022, the LIPIcs portfolio had grown to 40 conferences, 36 volumes and 1444 published articles. In addition, Dagstuhl Publishing (and LIPIcs) have become increasingly involved in open science and, amongst other initiatives, have developed a cooperation with the Software Heritage project to make sure that research-related software artifacts are archived and cited appropriately. 

The Dagstuhl Publishing team has done sterling work on developing specialized software, which has improved the automatic metadata extraction from documents or supporting the manual typesetting. It has also developed a new submission server that has been praised by authors and editors alike.

In my admittedly biased opinion, LIPIcs and Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz Center for Informatics are doing a great job for the computer science community. I strongly encourage high-quality conferences in any field of computer science to consider joining the LIPIcs family and to publish their proceedings in open-access form. 

Feel free to drop me a line if you are interested in applying. See here for information on how to apply and on the selection process.