Tuesday, February 14, 2012

ERC Advanced Investigator Grant to Dale Miller

Even though this is not really news any more, I am happy to report that  Dale Miller has been awarded one of the prestigious Advanced Investigators Grants by the ERC for the project ProofCert: Broad Spectrum Proof Certificates. This is a 2.2 million euro grant (about 3 million USD) for the five years 2012-2016. A news item pertaining to this award is here and the list of all awards for 2011 is available from this link.

The following excerpt is taken from the proposal’s abstract.
The ProofCert proposal aims at building a foundation that will allow a broad spectrum of formal methods—ranging from automatic model checkers to interactive theorem provers—to work together to establish formal properties of computer systems. This project starts with a wonderful gift to us from decades of work by logicians and proof theorist: their efforts on logic and proof has given us a universally accepted means of communicating proofs between people and computer systems. Logic can be used to state desirable security and correctness properties of software and hardware systems and proofs are uncontroversial evidence that statements are, in fact, true. The current state-of-the-art of formal methods used in academics and industry shows, however, that the notion of logic and proof is severely fractured: there is little or no communication between any two such systems. Thus any efforts on computer system correctness is needlessly repeated many time in the many different systems: sometimes this work is even redone when a given prover is upgraded. In ProofCert, we will build on the bedrock of decades of research into logic and proof theory the notion of proof certificates. Such certificates will allow for a complete reshaping of the way that formal methods are employed.

More technical details are available from the project's web page.

It is good to see that the ERC is actively supporting researchers of Dale's calibre in carrying out this kind of work. I look forward to seeing the outcome of this five-year project.

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