Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Call for nominations: Presburger Award 2015

Here is the call for nominations for one of the EATCS awards that is closest to my heart. Do put pen to paper and nominate your favourite young TCS researcher! He/She might join a truly impressive list of previous award recipients.
Presburger Award for Young Scientists 2015

   Call for Nominations

   Deadline: December 31st, 2014

Starting in 2010, the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science (EATCS) established the Presburger Award. The Award is conferred annually at the International Colloquium on Automata, Languages and Programming (ICALP) to a young scientist (in exceptional cases to several young scientists) for outstanding contributions in theoretical computer science, documented by a published paper or a series of published papers. The Award is named after Mojzesz Presburger who accomplished his path-breaking work on decidability of the theory of addition (which today is called Presburger arithmetic) as a student in 1929.

Nominations for the Presburger Award can be submitted by any member or group of members of the theoretical computer science community except the nominee and his/her advisors for the master thesis and the doctoral dissertation. Nominated scientists have to be at most 35 years at the time of the deadline of nomination (i.e., for the Presburger Award of 2015 the date of birth should be in 1979 or later). The Presburger Award Committee of 2015 consists of Zoltan Esik (Szeged), Claire Mathieu (Paris), and Peter Widmayer (Zürich, chair).

Nominations, consisting of a two page justification and (links to) the respective papers, as well as additional supporting letters, should be sent by e-mail to:

   Peter Widmayer

The subject line of every nomination should start with Presburger Award 2015, and the message must be received before December 31st, 2014.

The award includes an amount of 1000 Euro and an invitation to ICALP 2015 for a lecture.

Previous Winners:
  • Mikołaj Bojanczyk, 2010
  • Patricia Bouyer-Decitre, 2011
  • Venkatesan Guruswami and Mihai Patrascu, 2012
  • Erik Demaine, 2013
  • David Woodruff, 2014
Official website:

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Call for Nominations: EATCS Distinguished Dissertation Award 2014

The EATCS has established the EATCS Distinguished Dissertation Award to promote and recognize outstanding dissertations in the field of Theoretical Computer Science.

Any PhD dissertation in the field of Theoretical Computer Science that has been successfully defended in 2014 is eligible.

Three dissertations will be selected by the committee for year 2014. The dissertations will be evaluated on the basis of originality and potential impact on their respective fields and on Theoretical Computer Science.

Each of the selected dissertations will receive a prize of 1000 Euro. The award receiving dissertations will be published on the EATCS web site, where all the EATCS Distinguished Dissertations will be collected.

The dissertation must be submitted by the author as an attachment to an email message sent to the address with subject EATCS Distinguished Dissertation Award 2014 by 31 December 2014. The body of the message must specify:

  • Name and email address of the candidate;
  • Title of the dissertation;
  • Department that has awarded the PhD and denomination of the PhD program;
  • Name and email address of the thesis supervisor;
  • Date of the successful defence of the thesis.
A five page abstract of the dissertation and a letter by the thesis supervisor certifying that the thesis has been successfully defended must also be included. In addition, the author must include an endorsement letter from the thesis supervisor and can include one more additional endorsement letters.

The dissertations will be selected by the following committee:
  • Javier Esparza
  • Fedor Fomin
  • Luke Ong
  • Giuseppe Persiano
The award committee will solicit the opinion of members of the research community as appropriate.

Theses supervised by members of the selection committee are not eligible.

The EATCS is committed to equal opportunities, and welcomes submissions of outstanding theses from all authors.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Report of TRENDS 2014 (Guest post by Ilaria Castellani and MohammadReza Mousavi)

Ilaria Castellani and MohammadReza Mousavi have kindly written this guest post reporting on TRENDS 2014, a satellite event of CONCUR 2014 organized by IFIP WG1.8 on Concurrency Theory. Enjoy it!

TRENDS 2014 is the third edition of the series of workshops organized by the IFIP Working Group 1.8 on Concurrency Theory. TRENDS traditionally comprises invited speeches by both promising young researchers and leading senior researchers to demonstrate the emerging trends in concurrency theory research. The workshop is followed by the business meeting of the working group, which is open to the public. This year's TRENDS was attended by 20 participants throughout the workshop and featured 4 excellent talks by the following first class speakers:
  1. Alexandra Silva gave an introduction to using co-algebras as a generic way of exploiting efficient algorithms in automata theory for minimization and equivalence checking of labelled transition systems (or different variants thereof) with respect to various notions of behavioural equivalence. In particular, she showed how Brzozowski's algorithm for minimization of finite automata can be used to minimize LTS's efficiently and also how Hopcroft and Karp's algorithm for checking language equivalence can be used to check equivalence of LTS's with respect to different notions of behavioural equivalence. She also presented some ideas about the application of learning algorithms for automata in the domain of concurrency theory. She concluded her talk by the following motto: Co-algebra is not only about semantics, but also about algorithms. Alexandra's slides are here.
  2. Simon Gay gave an overview of the history of session types and in particular remembered the legacy of the late Kohei Honda as the founding father of this field. He then pointed subsequent important developments in the field, such as the introduction of behavioural sub-typing by himself and the link to linear logic and the very interesting recent interpretation of the Curry-Howard isomorphism in the concurrency theory setting by Luís Caires, Frank Pfenning and associates. He also gave an overview of the future challenges in this field.
  3. Michele Bugliesi, who has recently been appointed as the Rector of the University of Venice, pinpointed security vulnerabilities in the current practice of authentication. Then, he presented the solutions devised by him and his associates through client-side protection of authentication cookies. The devised techniques were formally shown to guarantee security (provide authentication and integrity) on a formalization of the Firefox browser. The proof techniques use a noninterference-like notion, which exemplifies yet another application of concurrency theory.
  4. Stéphanie Delaune gave a presentation on the formal modelling and analysis of cryptographic protocols. She used a privacy issue in the old French electronic passport as a motivating example and showed how process algebraic formalisms, such as the applied pi-calculus, can be used in modelling the protocols used in such an e-passport (at an abstract level) and how behavioural equivalences (equipped with additional term equivalences on terms) can be used to verify these protocols. She pointed out several existing tools for this purpose, also developed within her group at ENS Cachan, and presented the challenges in her ongoing research.