Saturday, May 31, 2014

PhD positions in Computer Science at IMT Lucca (Italy)

As readers of this blog might have noticed already, IMT Lucca is one of the institutions in Italy that is close to my heart. I am therefore happy to advertise their ongoing call for applications for their PhD positions in Computer Science. Do encourage your students to apply: the terms of employment for PhD students are excellent and so are the facilities. The town of Lucca is lovely and has a very high quality of life. IMT is still relatively small, but it is a very ambitious graduate school. 

If your students or you are interested, IMT will be holding a (free) interactive webinar on June 11 for any students interested in the program. 

PhD positions in Computer Science at IMT Lucca (Italy)
- Deadline July 14, 2014 -

The Institute for Advanced Studies IMT Lucca - Italy
( announces multiple PhD scholarships (appx. €13,600/year), that also include accommodation and full board.

Deadline for application is July 14th, 2014 at 18:00 Italian time.

IMT Lucca (Italy) is a research university within the Italian public higher education system. IMT's mission is to establish itself as a research center that promotes cutting-edge research in key areas, structuring its PhD program in close connection with research, to attract top students, researchers and scholars through competitive international selections, and to contribute to technological innovation, economic growth and social development.

The three year doctoral program, which is taught entirely in English, is articulated in curricula. The 8 curricula currently offered are field-specific, although in many instances they share a common scientific background. The curriculum in Computer Science is coordinated by Rocco De Nicola and focuses on key aspects of current research in the theory and applications of informatics, such as open-endedness, autonomy, security, concurrency, cost-effectiveness, quality of services, and dependability.

The main goal of the curriculum is to develop models, algorithms, and verification methods for modern distributed systems. The doctoral students enrolled in this curriculum will carry out cutting-edge research on the fundamentals and applications of architectures and languages for modern distributed systems, including global and cloud computing systems, web systems and services, and mobile systems. They will also acquire professional skills in the application of computer technologies to massively distributed systems, working in close collaboration with the SysMA research unit of IMT ( Graduates from the curriculum are qualified to work in universities, public and industrial research centers, and to take on professional roles and high-profile tasks and responsibilities in both private companies and public institutions.

PhD students, besides receiving a research scholarship, are offered on-campus housing on a newly restored and fully integrated San Francesco Complex in the historical center of the beautiful Tuscan city of Lucca, and daily access to the canteen. Students also get the opportunity to spend research periods abroad during the program, with the possibility of receiving additional financing through the Erasmus+ program.

Please note that students who are expected to obtain the required degree by October 31, 2014 will also be considered; they must still apply by July 14. Further details, along with online the application form, can be found at:

Be sure to sign up for our free interactive webinar ( scheduled for June 11th 2014.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Best paper awards at ICALP 2014

The EATCS is proud to announce that the program committees of the three tracks of ICALP 2014 have selected the following papers for the best paper awards:

Track A:
Andreas Björklund and Thore Husfeldt, Shortest Two Disjoint Paths in Polynomial Time
Track B:
Track C:
Oliver Göbel, Martin Hoefer, Thomas Kesselheim, Thomas Schleiden and Berthold Voecking, Online Independent Set Beyond the Worst-Case: Secretaries, Prophets, and Periods

The best student paper awards are given to papers that are solely authored by students. This year these awards will go to:
Congratulations to the award recipients and many thanks to the PC chairs and their PCs for their sterling work!

It is interesting to see that the best papers for 2014 are all from Europe, whereas two of the three best student papers are from the US. Having worked in Northern Europe for the best part of 20 years, I am happy to see that the best papers for Track A have Scandinavian authors.

I hope that you will enjoy reading the award-receiving papers.

Monday, May 05, 2014

CCC: request for volunteers, sponsoring & organizational meeting

Dieter van Melkebeek asked me to post the following message. See also here I encourage the members of the CCC community to reply by May 8. 

As you may know, after a discussion period and a recent poll (see, the steering committee of the Conference on Computational Complexity (CCC) is seriously considering the option of becoming an independent conference. This will only be possible if
(i) enough people are willing to make a commitment and help with this endeavor, and
(ii) we can gather the required startup funds.


Among other things we need volunteers for the following:
 - setting up the conference: creating a non-profit organization, other potential legal issues, insurance, banking, sponsoring, proceedings, registration, record keeping;
 - serving on the executive committee of the independent conference;
 - local organization for conferences in the near future.
If you are willing to help, please let us know and be as specific as possible.


We'd like to get an idea of how much funding we'd be able to collect. We're considering two types:
 - Funds that would be used to bootstrap the conference and are intended to be returned within three years. If you would be willing to contribute to this fund, please tell us how much.
 - Permanent donations. If you know of contacts for possible donors (labs, institutions), please let us know.


If we decide to become independent, we'd set up an organizational meeting the day before and/or after CCC'14 in Vancouver, i.e., Tuesday 6/10 and/or Saturday 6/14. If you are volunteering as above, please include in your response the following:
 - Would you be able to attend on Tuesday 6/10: Y/N
 - Would you be able to attend on Saturday 6/14: Y/N

Please send your response by May 8 to

Thanks for your consideration!

PhD Scholarships at the Gran Sasso Science Institute

The Gran Sasso Science Institute is a new international PhD school and a centre for advanced studies in physics, mathematics, computer science and social sciences. It is located in L'Aquila (Abruzzo, Italy) and enrolled its first bunch of PhD students this autumn. The first group of PhD students includes eight students in computer science and eight in mathematics. The institute has just advertised ten PhD fellowships, which might be of interest to your students or you. Please advertise them as you see fit.

The institute's organization mirrors the one of other international PhD schools in Italy and has strong ties with IMT Lucca. In particular, PhD students at GSSI receive a PhD stipend, free lodging and food vouchers and pay no tuition fees.

I arrived here on Thursday night to deliver a course. My first impression is positive: the staff at the institute are friendly and ready to assist guest professors and students, and the facilities seem good. I will try to write more on GSSI at a later time.

As an expat from Abruzzo myself (albeit from Pescara, a rival city of L'Aquila since it became the prominent centre in the region), I am happy to give my tiny contribution to the development of the GSSI, which I hope will become a permanent institute after the ministerial evaluation in three years' time.

------------ CALL for PhD Applications ----------------------------

10 fellowships at GSSI  L'AQUILA Italy, for the PhD program in
                      Computer Science
In collaboration with IMT - Institute for Advanced Studies - Lucca

Core Topics:
- Foundations of (Modern) Networks,
- Specification and Analysis of Concurrent Reactive Systems,
- Software Systems and Services.

Download the call for applications at

Online applications 
                                   Deadline June 22, 2014

GSSI awards scholarships for 3 years. 
The yearly amount of the scholarship is of € 16.159,91 gross  

Facilities and benefits
All PhD students will receive free accommodation, tuition fees waived, free luncheon vouchers.

Further Informations 

For additional  informations please contact:

Friday, May 02, 2014

Gödel Prize 2014 to Ronald Fagin, Amnon Lotem, and Moni Naor for Optimal Aggregation Algorithms for Middleware

Ronald Fagin, Amnon Lotem, and Moni Naor will receive the 2014 Gödel Prize for their paper Optimal Aggregation Algorithms for Middleware (, which introduced the powerful “threshold algorithm” that is widely used in applications and systems that demand optimal results for gathering multi-sourced information. The award, which recognizes outstanding papers in theoretical computer science, is presented by the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science (EATCS) and ACM’s Special Interest Group on Algorithms and Computation Theory (SIGACT). The ceremony takes place at the International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP) July 7-11, in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The prize-winning paper provides a framework to design and analyze algorithms where aggregation of information from multiple data sources is needed, such as in information retrieval and machine learning. In these situations, the threshold algorithm offers a very efficient method for producing a single unified list of the “top k” results from the combined data sources. The threshold algorithm’s elegant mathematical properties and simplicity are particularly suitable for use in middleware, software that is often used to augment computer operating systems that support complex, distributed applications. The authors also introduced the notion of instance optimality, an extremely strong guarantee of performance, and showed that the threshold algorithm is instance optimal. The paper’s groundbreaking results have built a foundation for much follow-on research. 
Congratulations to the award recipients and many thanks to the Gödel Prize Committee for this year!