Friday, June 24, 2011

Accepted papers at ESA 2011 and MFCS 2011; CFP for FSTTCS

The list of accepted papers for ESA 2011 is here. (My colleague Magnús Halldórsson was the PC chair for ESA 2011.) Ditto for MFCS 2011.

The submission deadline for FSTTCS is just two weeks away. The call for papers is here. The list of invited speakers for the event is stellar:
Do submit! 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

LICS 2011 Test-of-Time Award

The LICS 2011 Test-of-Time award was given yesterday to 
This year's award was given to papers presented at LICS 1991 that have stood the test of time and have had considerable impact since their publication. (Source: Prakash Panangaden)

Congratulations to all the award recipients!

FPSAC 2011

I have received the following short report on FPSAC 2011 from Henning Úlfarsson, which I post with pleasure. Sources within my extended family told me that the conference was very well attended. The lecture hall was packed and it was nearly impossible to get close to the posters. The lure of Iceland as a conference location strikes again :-)

The 23rd International Conference on Formal Power Series and Algebraic Combinatorics, FPSAC 2011, was held in Reykjavik, Iceland on June 13-17, on the premises of the University of Iceland. This year's conference was dedicated to the memory of Philippe Flajolet, who passed away recently, and was very influential in the field of algebraic and analytic combinatorics. (An obituary for Philippe Flajolet may be found here.)

The conference featured 10 invited speakers, 27 talks, 53 poster presentations as well as an afternoon of software demonstrations. The topics ranged from various aspects of combinatorics to applications such as shallow water waves and genome arrangements.

More information can be found on the website

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Videos of talks by Friedman and Macintyre

There has been a fair amount of discussion recently on the FOM mailing list on whether the consistency of Peano Arithmetic is a legitimate mathematical problem in present day mathematical  culture. This discussion has been sparked by the talk Foundational Concerns and Mathematical Concerns that Angus Macintyre gave at the New Trends in Logic meeting. The video of Angus' talk is here. Perhaps some of the readers of this blog will want to have a look and reach their own conclusions. The person who asks most of the questions to Angus Macintyre is Harvey Friedman, whose own talk at the Vienna meeting can be seen here.

I have to say that Angus Macintyre kept his cool and maintained his thread admirably during his talk.

The videos of all the lectures may be found here, including the one delivered by Thierry Coquand when he received one of the prizes for 2008.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Jan Bergstra turns sixty

Jan Bergstra turns 60 today. Jan is one of the concurrency theorists whose work has had a lot of influence on mine, as well as on that of many others. However, his research interests are much broader and his research so far gives excellent examples of the power of algebraic tools and ideas in TCS.

According to Jan's Wikipedia entry, his main theoretical research programmes are:
  • a systematic study of specification methods for abstract data types (starting in 1979, with John V. Tucker);
  • the invention, development and application of process algebras, especially ACP (starting in 1984, with Jan Willem Klop, Jos Baeten and others);
  • Module Algebra (starting in 1986, together with Paul Klint and Jan Heering);
  • Program Algebra (starting in 1998, with Marijke Loots).
This gives a pretty fair reflection of the main thrusts in Jan's research work, and match pretty closely the topics covered by the five papers he has published in the JACM.

Apart from his scientific work, Jan Bergstra has had considerable influence on computer science in the Netherlands via his research and organizational activities. As an example of the impact he has had on CS in the NL, I limit myself to mentioning here that he has supervised over 40 PhD students, many of whom have become academic computer scientists (according to Wikipedia, at least 12 at professorial level).

As a recognition of his work, on May 18 this year, Jan has been inducted into the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.

I wish Jan many happy returns for his 60th birthday and many more years of seminal scientific activity.

Addendum dated June 23: A special issue of Theoretical Computer Science devoted to the festschrift in honour of Jan Bergstra, edited by I. Bethke, A. Ponse and P.H. Rodenburg, is now available.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Rector Corradini, I Presume

This is not news anymore, but I am happy to report that Flavio Corradini was elected rector of the University of Camerino (Italy) on June 8. To the best of my knowledge, Flavio is now the youngest rector of an Italian university, and the first concurrency theorist to become rector of an Italian university. I wish him the best of luck for his new role, and hope that he will be able to continue doing some (theoretical) computer science.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Jos Baeten new general director of CWI

On June 1, I congratulated Jos Baeten for officially becoming the new chair of IFIP WG 1.8. Now, more congratulations to Jos are in order. Indeed, today the General Board of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) confirmed Jos' appointment as the new general director of the Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) in Amsterdam. I learned the news from Jos himself, who is here in Reykjavik to attend Discotec 2011 and to deliver an invited talk at PACO.

The appointment of Jos as general director of CWI is excellent news for concurrency theory, and volume B TCS at CWI and in the Netherlands as a whole. In a way, it is also the "return of SEN 2", It is a bit ironic that Jos, who was one of the early directors of the very successful SEN 2 project, which was closed in 2008, returns now as general director of the whole institute. This may be seen as a case of "SEN 2 strikes back."

In any event, congratulations to Jos. I wish him a very successful term as director of CWI, which is one of the hotbeds of TCS research in the world. I look forward to seeing how CWI will develop under his expert leadership.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

New Chair for IFIP WG 1.8

Jos Baeten has formally taken over the chairmanship of IFIP WG 1.8 on Concurrency Theory. I say "formally" because Jos has acted as de facto chair of the working group for some time already, since I decided not to run for a second term as chair.

Congratulations to Jos! I wish him the best of luck for his work as chairman of WG 1.8.