In case you do not know, the conference has being held in Riga at the University of Latvia. This has been the first time that ICALP has been organized in a country of the former Soviet Union and this was the 40th edition of the ICALP conference. First of all, kudos to the local organizers, who did their very best to make the conference a festive occasion and a very pleasant experience for all the attendees. The city of Riga is very pretty and all ICALP participants had a very warm welcome. The University of Latvia was also enrolling a new batch of students during ICALP and this meant that there was a continuous flow of young and happy-looking people on the university premises. This made the main hall of the university a very lively place to be. We were also blessed with sunny and warm weather, which also helped (especially coming from rainy Iceland).
According to the data presented by Agnis Škuškovniks, on behalf of the organizing committee, to the EATCS council and to the EATCS general assembly, there were 193 registered participants in ICALP 2013, of which 67 are students. Including the local participants, the six invited speakers and the two recipients of the honorary doctorates awarded on Tuesday (Josef Gruska and Juris Hartmanis), 217 people attended ICALP 2013. The pre-conference workshops were attended by 102 participants, which is a very healthy number.
The honorary doctorates were an excellent addition to the standard session devoted to the EATCS Awards. Gruska and Hartmanis delivered lucid and inspirational presentations. It was truly awesome to see Juris Hartmanis deliver an off-the-cuff speech on how he left Latvia and ended up at Cornell as chair of the newly-funded CS department. At 85, he is very articulate and sharp. I had the pleasure of discussing several subjects with him during a very pleasant dinner arranged by the organizers. He is still a truly inspirational figure.
Here are some quick EATCS- and ICALP-related news.
- ICALP 2014 will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark, immediately after SWAT 2013. It will be a four-day ICALP and the general chair for the conference is Thore Husfeldt.
- ICALP 2015 will be held in Kyoto, Japan, and will be co-located with LICS 2015. Kazuo Iwama is the ICALP 2015 general chair. This will be the first ever ICALP outside Europe.
- The EATCS will soon announce and EATCS Fellows programme. The first deadline for nominations will be at the end of this year and we plan to make the first announcement of fellows at ICALP 2014 in Copenhagen.
- The EATCS will begin a new EATCS Young Researcher School Series from 2014. The first school in the series will be organized by Tony Kucera in a beautiful location in Moravia in late July/early August. The theme of the school will be "Automata, Logic and Games".
- Orna Kupferman gave a thought-provoking talk on "The Gender Challenge in TCS" at the EATCS General Assembly. It really got the audience thinking about this important matter.
In a subsequent post, which I will write when I get home, I will try to discuss some of the many scientific highlights at ICALP 2013.
To conclude, at the conference I heard that Paul Spirakis is moving to the University of Liverpool. Good luck to Paul!