Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Look at my Crystal Ball

Let me make an attempt at predicting the winner(s) of the LICS Test-of-Time Award for 2009.

According to the rules of the award, the prize will go to a paper that was presented at LICS 1989 in lovely Asilomar. I was there as a second-year Ph.D. student and I presented a paper myself, but it was not award material.

The conference programme was really good and the award committee must have had a difficult choice. I do not know who will receive the award in mid-August, but let make a personal prediction: the award will be shared by the following two papers:
What papers do you think will receive the award? It will be interesting to look back at the predictions and see who was right.

Arthur Benjamin's Proposal for Changing Maths Education

See this video, pointed out to me by my recently graduated M.Sc. student Arnar Birgisson. It is well worth spending three minutes looking at.

I guess that many readers of this blog will like the message in this position video :-)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

ICE-TCS Theory Day 2009

Last Friday, ICE-TCS hosted its fifth annual theory day. This is an event we organize each year to advertise TCS to the local scientists and students, usually in connection with visits by guests of the centre from outside Iceland. (The list of previous guest speakers includes Thomas Erlebach, Wan Fokkink, Ryan Hayward, Jan Kratochvil, Kim G. Larsen, MohammadReza Mousavi, Mogens Nielsen and Moshe Vardi.)

The programme for this year's event is here. We had a keynote address delivered by Zoltan Esik, who presented work on regular words and linear orders, which may be found in, e.g., this paper of his. The session devoted to algorithms saw two excellent talks by the Halldórsson brothers on algorithms for detecting genomic copy variations and on scheduling wireless networks. (The latter talk was based on a paper that will be presented at ICALP 2009.) The scientific programme was brought to a close by two talks by PhD students, who are the future of TCS. Paul van Tilburg (Eindhoven University of Technology, NL) described some of the results he has achieved in his research work so far, which aims at connecting the time-honoured theory of automata with the theory of processes. Matteo Cimini (a PhD student I am supervising with Anna Ingolfsdottir) explained the Curry-Howard isomorphism, which is one of the pearls of TCS, to all of us in a clear way.

The event was followed by wine, pizza and a social gathering. The only happening that marred our celebration of TCS is a 6% salary cut that was announced by our rector during the session in the programme devoted to algorithms.

"May you live in interesting times" says an old Chinese curse. These are definitely interesting times here in Iceland, alas. However, despite the lack of resources, ICE-TCS will try to keep waving the flag of TCS on the island as far as it can. If you happen to be in Iceland and you wish to drop by and give a talk in our seminar series, drop us a line.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Concurrency column for the June 2009 issue of the BEATCS

Last month I submitted the concurrency column for the June 2009 issue of the BEATCS to the editor in chief. The piece is entitled Deriving labelled transition systems --- a structural approach and has been contributed by Julian Rathke and Pawel Sobocinski.

The paper reports on recent results obtained by the authors in their ongoing research effort whose aim is to contribute to the development of a general theory for the systematic derivation of a labelled transition semantics for a process calculus from a simpler, non-structural, description of the reduction semantics.

I think that we can expect to hear further developments on this line of work soon, but the authors already have a good story to tell and the paper they contributed to the BEATCS witnesses this fact.

Thanks to Julian and Pawel for their efforts in putting this good paper together!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Announcing LIPIcs, a new series of electronic conference proceedings in computer science

I just saw the appended message on the concurrency mailing list. I think that it will be of interest to readers of this blog. Much is afoot in the area of open-access conference and workshop proceedings and I guess that several events will consider publishing their proceedings in this series.


Dear colleagues,

Following an initiative of the conferences STACS (http://stacs-conf.org) and FSTTCS (http://www.fsttcs.org/), to opt for non-commercial, electronic proceedings, the German conference center Schloss Dagstuhl Leibniz Center for Informatics (LCI) has decided to establish a new series of conference proceedings called Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs,http://www.dagstuhl.de/en/publications/lipics/). The objective of this series is to publish the proceedings of high-quality conferences in all fields of computer science. An Editorial Board is being instituted to oversee the selection of the conferences to be included in this series.

Details about joining this serie and about the editorial process can be found on-line, http://www.dagstuhl.de/fileadmin/redaktion/DROPS/LIPIcs/lipics_announce.pdf. The main features are as follows:
The proceedings in the LIPIcs series will be published electronically and will be accessible freely and universally on the internet, keeping the copyrights with the authors, and under an open access license guaranteeing free dissemination. To face the cost of electronic publication, a one-time fee will be required from the conference organizers. This fee will be kept to a minimum, intended to cover the costs of LCI, thanks in particular to a sharing of the workload between LCI and the conference organizers.

The LCI and the LIPIcs Editorial Board wish to attract the best conferences in computer science, and they hope you can encourage steering and program committees to join it!

Pascal Weil
351 cours de la Libération
33405 Talence Cedex - France