Monday, July 21, 2008

General Assembly of the EATCS at ICALP 2008

The EATCS holds its annual General Assembly (GA) during ICALP. This year's GA was held during ICALP 2008 on Tuesday, 8 July, after Peter Winkler's master class on mathematical puzzles. I have already covered some of the highlights of the GA in earlier posts (e.g., the best paper awards for ICALP 2008 and the proposed new young research prize in TCS). Here I will limit myself to highlighting a few of the many issues under discussion within the EATCS Council that you might be interested in commenting on. In general, the EATCS strongly encourages feedback and suggestions from the members of the TCS community at large. I will pass on to the Council any suggestion/comment/criticism you might have.

First of all, here are some statistics presented by Leslie Ann Goldberg regarding track A of ICALP 2008. Track A had 133 submissions that could be classified as dealing with Design and Analysis of Algorithms, 87 for Complexity Theory and 67 under the heading Approximation. The most successful topic as far as percentage of acceptances was concerned was Quantum Computation (6 selected out of 14 submissions, 43% selection rate); Randomness was second with 15 selected out of 39 submissions (38% selection rate). Overall, Germany, Israel and the USA contributed 120 submissions to track A.

For track B, there were 8 selected papers under the heading Verification, 7 on Words and Trees and 6 on Logic and Complexity. Germany and France led the number of authors with 39 and 39 authors each. The UK, the USA and Italy were next in line with 32, 29 and 25 authors, respectively. Spain was next with 13 authors.

No comparable statistics were presented for track C. However, Ivan Damgaard remarked that it was noteworthy that no accepted paper for track C dealt with the formal specification and verification of security protocols.

The General Assembly approved the suggestion of the Council that ICALP 2010 be organized in Bordeaux, France. Igor Walukiewicz presented the bid from Bordeaux, highlighting many reasons for having ICALP there. The GA also discussed possible alternatives for ICALP 2011. In particular, Giorgio Ausiello mentioned that the sister society AAAC (Asian Association for Algorithms and Computation) has invited ICALP to Japan. Concerning 2012, Giorgio Ausiello mentioned that, in the occasion of the centennial of Turing's birth, a special event should take place in Cambridge, UK. The EATCS is considering the co-location of ICALP 2012 with the events in the Turing centennial.

Jan van Leeuwen reported on possible connections netween the EATCS and Computability in Europe, a new association that "aims to widen understanding and appreciation of the importance of the concepts and techniques of computability theory, and to support the development of a vibrant multi-disciplinary community of researchers focused on computability-related topics."

The EATCS Council has formed a new publication committee which I have been asked to chair. Apart from me, the committee will consist of Josep Diaz, Juhani Karhumaki, Burkhard Monien, Catuscia Palamidessi, Valdimiro Sassone and Maria Serna (the new editor of the Bulletin of the EATCS). One of the important roles that this committee will have is to propose future developments for the Bulletin, which is the flagship publication of the EATCS. I would be very happy to hear your opinions on and wishes for the BEATCS.

Amongst the many developments within the EATCS let me finish by mentioning that the EATCS Council has decided that the Secretarial Office will move to CTI. The Secretarial support will be partly paid by EATCS, partly sponsored by CTI. The experiment will be carried on for a period of three years. An important role that the new Secretarial Office will play is in maintaining an ongoing connection between the EATCS and its members. The latest membership figures show a worrying decrease in the number of members at a time when the EATCS needs the support of the TCS community to foster its increasing number of high-profile activities. The number of members of the EATCS has gone down from 1036 in 2006 to 882 in 2007, and has hit an all-time low in 2008 (with 678 members). I hope that the success of ICALP 2008 will help the association a little.

Many photos from ICALP 2008 are available by following the links from this web page.


Anonymous said...

Regarding Ivan Damgaard's comment that "no accepted paper for track C dealt with the formal specification and verification of security protocols": did anybody suggest why that might have been the case? A statistical fluctuation? Not an interesting problem? Too difficult a problem?

Luca Aceto said...

No, there was no explanation offered for the lack of papers on formal specification and verification of security protocols. Ivan simply mentioned this fact as a curiousity. I suspect that this was just a statistical fluctuation. However, it is also possible that ICALP track C is not considered to be the best venue for papers in that area.

Note that track C of ICALP 2009 will be devoted to a new theme, namely Foundations of Networked Computation: Models, Algorithms and Information Management (Alberto Marchetti Spaccamela and Yossi Matias co-chairs). See here for details.