Thursday, March 09, 2023

Ten fully-funded PhD positions in Computer Science at the Gran Sasso Science Institute

The Computer Science group at the GSSI has ten fully-funded PhD positions. See the call for applications for details. The deadline for applications is 30 May 2023.

The Computer Science group at the GSSI provides an excellent environment for PhD students and its group has been ranked as "excellent" by a recent national research assessment exercise. In my, admittedly biased, opinion, it is one of the places to be for research in Computer Science in Italy.

Spread the news!


Friday, March 03, 2023

Call for papers for the Fourteenth International Symposium on Games, Automata, Logics, and Formal Verification (GandALF 23)


The Fourteenth International Symposium on Games, Automata, Logics, and Formal Verification (GandALF 23) will be held in Udine (Italy) on September 18-20, 2023.

The aim of GandALF 2023 is to bring together researchers from academia and industry who are actively working in the fields of Games, Automata, Logics, and Formal Verification. The idea is to cover an ample spectrum of themes, ranging from theory to applications, and stimulate cross-fertilization. Papers focused on formal methods are especially welcome. Authors are invited to submit original research or tool papers on all relevant topics in these areas. Papers discussing new ideas that are at an early stage of development are also welcome. The topics covered by the conference include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Automata Theory
  • Automated Deduction
  • Computational aspects of Game Theory
  • Concurrency and Distributed computation
  • Decision Procedures
  • Deductive, Compositional, and Abstraction Techniques for Verification
  • Finite Model Theory
  • First-order and Higher-order Logics
  • Formal Languages
  • Formal Methods for Systems Biology, Hybrid, Embedded, and Mobile Systems
  • Game Semantics
  • Games and Automata for Verification
  • Logical aspects of Computational Complexity
  • Logics of Programs
  • Modal and Temporal Logics
  • Model Checking
  • Models of Reactive and Real-Time Systems
  • Probabilistic Models (Markov Decision processes)
  • Program Analysis and Software Verification
  • Reinforcement Learning
  • Run-time Verification and Testing
  • Specification and Verification of Finite and Infinite-state Systems
  • Synthesis

Important Dates

  • Abstract submission deadline: 23 June 2023
  • Paper submission deadline: 30 June 2023
  • Acceptance notification: 7 August 2023
  • Camera-ready deadline: 6 September 2023
  • Conference dates: 18-20 September 2023

⚠ all deadlines are AoE


The proceedings will be published by Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science. Authors of selected papers will be invited to submit a revised version of their work to a special issue of Logical Methods in Computer Science.

The previous editions of GandALF already led to special issues of the International Journal of Foundations of Computer Science (GandALF 2010), Theoretical Computer Science (GandALF 2011 and 2012), Information and Computation (GandALF 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020), Acta Informatica (GandALF 2015) and Logical Methods in Computer Science (GandALF 2021 and 2022).


Submitted papers should not exceed 14 pages (excluding references and clearly marked appendices) using EPTCS format (please use the LaTeX style provided here), be unpublished, and contain original research. For papers reporting experimental results, authors are encouraged to make their data available with their submission. Submissions must be in PDF format and will be handled via easychair at the following address: 

Invited Speakers

Program Committee

  • Dario Della Monica (co-chair) – University of Udine (Italy)
  • Antonis Achilleos (co-chair) – Reykjavik University (Iceland)
  • Parosh Aziz Abdulla – Uppsala University (Sweden)
  • Christel Baier –  Technische Universität Dresden (Germany)
  • Valentina Castiglioni – Reykjavik University (Iceland)
  • Giorgio Delzanno – University of Genova (Italy)
  • Léo Exibard – Université Gustave Eiffel (France)
  • Gabriele Fici – University of Palermo (Italy)
  • Dana Fisman – Ben-Gurion University (Israel)
  • Nicola Gigante – Free University of Bozen-Bolzano (Italy)
  • Miika Hannula – University of Helsinki (Finland)
  • Naoki Kobayashi – The University of Tokyo (Japan)
  • Orna Kupferman – Hebrew University (Israel)
  • Martin Leucker – University of Lübeck (Germany)
  • Fabio Mogavero – University of Napoli (Italy)
  • Shankara Narayanan Krishna – Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (India)
  • Pawel Parys – University of Warsaw (Poland)
  • Guillermo Pérez – University of Antwerp (Belgium)
  • Giovanni Pighizzini – University of Milano (Italy)
  • Gabriele Puppis – University of Udine (Italy)
  • Joshua Sack – California State University Long Beach (USA)
  • Ocan Sankur – CNRS/Irisa (France)
  • Patrick Totzke – University of Liverpool (UK)
  • Jana Wagemaker –  Radboud University (Netherlands)
  • Martin Zimmermann – Aalborg University (Denmark)
  • (to be completed)

Steering Committee

  • Luca Aceto – Reykjavik University (Iceland)
  • Javier Esparza – University of Munich (Germany)
  • Salvatore La Torre – University of Salerno (Italy)
  • Angelo Montanari – University of Udine (Italy)
  • Mimmo Parente – University of Salerno (Italy)
  • Jean-François Raskin – Université libre de Bruxelles (Belgium)
  • Martin Zimmermann – Aalborg University (Denmark)


Thursday, January 12, 2023

Resources on how to apply for a CS job in academia/industry

The PhD students in my department asked for advice on how to apply for jobs in academia and industry. I'll share whatever I might have to say with them this coming Tuesday and I am going through some material I collected. 

Do you have any favourite resources on how to apply for a CS job in academia or industry such as this advice by Matt Might? If so, I'd be grateful if you could share it with me as comments to this post. I'll collect the material and make it available somewhere. 

Thanks in advance!

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Computer Science and Mathematics at the GSSI named "Excellent Department"

The Computer Science and the Mathematics groups at the Gran Sasso Science Institute (GSSI) have been selected amongst the "excellent departments" in Italy, based on the outcome of the latest Italian research evaluation exercise and on a proposal submitted by those two groups. The proposal by the GSSI in Computer Science and Mathematics received a score of 29/30, which was the highest grade in those fields together with those of the Normale di Pisa, a scientific powerhouse, and the University of Pisa (Mathematics). The groups at the GSSI will receive approximately 7.3 million euros to support permanent faculty positions and to open new research laboratories.  

This is fantastic news for Computer Science and Mathematics at the GSSI. I congratulate my GSSI colleagues for this achievement! Since the establishment of the GSSI and its international PhD school, our computer science colleagues there have been building a group with a flat hierarchy, which has collegiality as one of its core values and where everyone is a principal investigator and a "leader" from day one.

As my colleagues at the GSSI know well, hiring and promotion decisions are two of the key factors in improving the quality of any department or research group. I trust they will use this funding to hire the best people they can get their hands on and to let them work in a nurturing and hierarchy-free research environment. Hire the best people you can attract and support them in doing the best work they can!

I look forward to seeing the developments in the computer science group at the GSSI and hope to give a small contribution, if I can. If you are considering a relocation to Italy, I encourage you to consider the GSSI. On a purely personal note, I would love to see the group there become as successful as the Department of Computing Sciences at Bocconi University in attracting foreign academics.

Friday, December 09, 2022

Report on the formative research evaluation of the Department of Computer Science at Reykjavik University

I am pleased to share with you the report I received yesterday from the panel that carried out a formative research evaluation review for the Department of Computer Science at Reykjavik University last month. (See below for some excerpts from the report.) The (IMHO, stellar) review panel consisted of Geraldine Fitzpatrick (TU Wien, Austria), Kim Guldstrand Larsen (Aalborg University, Denmark) and Michael Wooldridge (University of Oxford, United Kingdom).

Our evaluators have given us a lot of food for thought, have identified several challenges for the department and have given us many recommendations we might follow to improve our research environment and work, as well as its impact. I trust that some of those remarks will be useful for the university as a whole. 

Our next task as a department will be to do justice to the work of the review panel and build on it to improve our research environment and output.

I thank all my colleagues at the department, including postdocs and PhD students of course, whose creativity, drive, enthusiasm and research work have contributed to building a research environment that, in my admittedly very biassed opinion, punches well above its weight. I am very proud of their work. 

However, we have to keep our feet on the ground and realise that, as the challenges identified by the review panel indicate, we are just starting our journey.

Excerpts from the formative review report

"Overall we were pleased and impressed to find that a department which is very young in international terms has succeeded in establishing itself as an internationally competitive hub for Computer Science research. This is a noteworthy achievement by any measure, but is particularly impressive when considering the highly competitive culture of international computer science research, where world-class researchers are very highly-sought after and are able to demand highly lucrative packages.

We repeatedly heard that the department is a highly collegial environment, and has largely avoided the curse of factionalism that taints so many university departments.

We were impressed by the international links that the department has been able to establish, with many visitors who clearly contribute to the research culture of the department at all levels. We saw evidence that directly experiencing this culture has been instrumental in a number of hires and in attracting PhD students.

The self-evaluation report we were provided with gave a number of key performance indicators, such as volume of publications in internationally competitive journal and conference venues, research awards such as best-paper prizes, and the acquisition of research funding. We were pleased to note that, modulo some expected minor year-on-year variations, all of these measures seem to be on a positive upward trajectory.

We noted that much of the Department’s research portfolio is strongly interdisciplinary, and addresses key societal challenges with demonstrable national impact.

Finally, we noted that the Department does well in terms of diversity at faculty level, with an increased number of female staff. Other aspects of diversity are less clear, though this perhaps represents Iceland’s racial demographic."

With my ICE-TCS glasses on, I was delighted to read the panel's opinion on our centre:

"We were truly impressed by ICE-TCS that in a short span of time (inaugurated in 2005) has established itself as a world-class center within Theoretical Computer Science (TCS). In particular, we find that the center has been extremely successful combining Track A and Track B of TCS with notable research contributions within and recognitions from the sub-fields of Concurrency Theory, Logic, Programming Languages, Combinatorics and Algorithms."

As a centre, we will strive to improve following the panel's recommendations and to develop a crisp, overarching research vision for the coming few years, which may help us keep spreading the TCS gospel in Iceland and attract talent to the country.

Monday, November 28, 2022

The World Dynamics Project

Our colleagues Pierluigi Crescenzi, Emanuele Natale and Paulo Bruno Serafim have been doing some work on what they call the World Dynamics project, whose goal is to provide a modern framework for studying models of sustainable development, based on cutting-edge techniques from software engineering and machine learning. 

The first outcome of their work is a Julia library that allows scientists to use and adapt different world models, from Meadows et al.'s World3 to recent proposals, in an easy way.

IMHO, this is a fascinating and timely research effort. I encourage readers of this blog to try the current version of the Julia library, which is still under development. It would be great if this library contributed to "an open, interdisciplinary, and consistent comparative approach to scientific model development" and I hope that global policy makers on environmental and economic issues will use similar tools in the nearest future.

Thanks to Emanuele, Paulo and Pierluigi for their work. I'll be following its future development with great interest.

If you speak Italian, I strongly recommend this podcast, in the GSSI-SISSA Sidecar series, in which Pierluigi discusses economic growth with Michele Boldrin.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Two faculty positions in Computer Science at Reykjavik University

My department has advertised two full-time, permanent faculty positions at any rank . Theoretical Computer Science is not the department's highest priority in hiring at this moment in time, but it is mentioned as one of the areas of interest, alongside Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, Data Science and Machine Learning, and Software Engineering. Do consider applying if you are theoretically minded, your work has, or has the potential to have, impact on any of those fields, and you'd like to join our academic family and relocate to Iceland. The call is below and at, where the application form can be found.

Two faculty positions in Computer Science at Reykjavik University

The Department of Computer Science at Reykjavik University invites applications for two full-time, permanent faculty positions at any rank in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, Data Science and Machine Learning, Software Engineering, and Theoretical Computer Science. For one of the positions, we will give preferential treatment to excellent applicants in Software Engineering, broadly construed. However, the primary evaluation criterion is scientific quality. Outstanding candidates in other areas of Computer Science are encouraged to apply as well. See for the link to the application form.  

We are looking for energetic, highly qualified academics with a proven international research record and excellent potential in their field of study. We particularly welcome applications from researchers who have a strong network of research collaborators, can strengthen internal collaborations within the department, have the proclivity to improve their academic environment and its culture, and have the drive and potential to flourish in our environment. The Department of Computer Science at Reykjavik University is characterised by a flat hierarchical structure and every faculty member is expected to act like a principal investigator regardless of their level of employment.  
Apart from developing their research career, the successful applicants will play a full part in the teaching and administrative activities of the department, teaching courses and supervising students at both graduate and undergraduate level. Applicants with a demonstrated history of excellence in teaching are preferred.
Salary and rank are commensurate with experience. Successful applicants receive a relocation budget, some seed research funding in the first two years of their employment and support for one PhD student. Among other benefits, Reykjavik University offers its research staff the option to take research semesters (sabbaticals) every three years of satisfactory teaching and research activity and provides some additional financial support during those semesters.  
The positions are open until filled, with intended starting date in August 2023. Later starting dates can be negotiated, but preference will be given to candidates who can take up their position in August 2023. The deadline for applications is January 27, 2023. The review of the applications will begin in late January 2023 and will continue until the positions are filled.
A PhD in Computer Science or a related field is required. Applications should be submitted through the university’s online application submission system and should include the following documents:

  • a cover letter specifying whether the candidate is applying for appointment as an assistant, associate, or full professor,
  • a CV with a full list of publications, 
  • links to three to five major publications, 
  • a research statement, 
  • a teaching statement, 
  • supporting material regarding excellence in teaching, if available, and 
  • any other relevant information the applicant wishes to supply.
Please arrange to have three letters of recommendation sent directly to (subject “Faculty Positions in CS”) with a copy to Professor Luca Aceto (, Chair of the Department of Computer Science. Informal communication and discussions on any aspect related to the positions are encouraged, and interested candidates are welcome to contact the chair of the search committee, Associate Professor María Óskarsdóttir (, for further information.
Department of Computer Science at Reykjavik University
The Department of Computer Science at Reykjavik University is research intensive and carries out research-based teaching in all its degree programmes. It offers undergraduate and graduate programs in Computer Science and Software Engineering, a combined undergraduate program in Discrete Mathematics and Computer Science, two graduate programs in Data Science and one in Artificial Intelligence and Language Technology. From the autumn semester 2023, the department will also offer an MSc in Digital Health. At the time of writing, it is home to 26 faculty members, seven of whom are women, five postdoctoral researchers, and 32 PhD students representing altogether over 20 different countries. In 2022, the department had 740 students registered for its BSc and MSc programmes.

The department provides an excellent working environment in which a motivated academic can have an impact at all levels and has a career-development framework that encourages and supports independence in academic endeavours.  

The department is home to several research centres producing high-quality collaborative research in areas such as artificial intelligence, data science, financial technology, information systems, language technology, software systems, and theoretical computer science, among others; for more information on those research centres, see
For further information about the Department of Computer Science at Reykjavik University and its activities, see
Reykjavík University
On the Times Higher Education rankings for 2023, Reykjavik University is ranked among the 350 best universities world-wide, first among Icelandic universities, and 18th among Nordic ones. Moreover, it was ranked 12th amongst the best small universities in the Times Higher Education rankings 2022, when it was in first place along with eight other universities for the average number of citations per faculty and 53rd amongst all universities established fewer than 50 years ago.  

Iceland is well known for breathtaking natural beauty, with volcanoes, hot springs, lava fields and glaciers offering a dramatic landscape. It consistently ranks as one of the best places in the world to live. It offers a high quality of life, is one of the safest places in the world, with high gender equality, and strong healthcare and social-support systems. It was in second position in the 2021 UN World Happiness Report, which correlates with various life factors. Reykjavik is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city, which provides an ideal environment for combining cultural and family activities with an active lifestyle.