Philip How, a recent graduate in MEng Computer Science, has returned to the United Kingdom after developing and leading a successful workshop at Scratch@MIT 2012. As well as marking the end of his undergraduate degree, Philip's role in this exceptionally popular event represents the culmination of a long-standing involvement with Warwick Technology Volunteers, a dedicated groups of technically minded students and staff members who make a significant contribution to the local community through involvement with schools.
Scratch@MIT is the biennial conference where educators, researchers and developers gather on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts to share their experiences and imagine the possibilities of Scratch. The workshop that Philip led, entitled Sensing Our World, involved participants building a variety of sensors, ranging from simple sensors that relied on the conductivity of pencil tracks to working touchpads made from CD cases.
On his involvment, Philip is quick to acknowledge the contributions of those around him, noting that "The staff and students contributing to Warwick Technology Volunteers are fantastic. We couldn't have hoped to achieve what we have without the hard work and comittment of the team of staff and students involved, particuler Margaret Low. In my time here she's an fantastic at organising the efforts of students and liasing with local schools".
Wednesday 20th June saw the Department of Computer Science (DCS) host a celebration of the centenary of the birth of Alan Turing, a pioneer in Mathematics who is widely considered to be the founding father of Computer Science.
The event was well attended by both staff and students alike, with many undergraduates making the most of being free from exams. The highlight of the day were the talks, by three academics from DCS.
Martin Campbell-Kelly opened the day talking about the ACE, a computer designed by Turing that was at the heart of the British computer industry. The talk highlighted the relationship between Britain and America in the days before the founding of Computer Science as we know it, and provided an interesting perspective on the part Turing played in the development of the modern computer.
Following this bright start to the day, Sara Kalvala delivered a riveting talk on Turing's last published work - his theory of morphogenesis. Turing's theory provides an insight as to how cells that are identical can divide into the diverse range of cells that make up natural life. Sara also highlighted a recent paper that is thought to prove this theorem, going on to show how the popular press turned it into a theory of how tigers get their stripes!
After lunch, Ben Sach concluded the day with a closer look at Turing's personal life. Beginning with Turing's early life, including his infamous 60 mile cycle to Sherbourne school, Ben's talk followed Turing's life through Cambridge, to Bletchley Park, and finally to Manchester University. This more intimate view of Turing, often told through extracts written by those who knew him best, provided a fitting end to the day of celebration by highlighting Turing's eccentric, yet charming nature.
The 39th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages and Programming (ICALP 2012), the main European conference in Theoretical Computer Science, will take place 9 - 13 July 2012 at the University of Warwick, UK.
The conference will see 123 research presentations of recent advances in theoretical computer science selected from 432 submissions in three tracks: A: Algorithms, Complexity and Games, B: Logic, Semantics, Automata and Theory of Programming, C: Foundations of Networked Computation.
The standard presentations will be complemented by 5 invited talks by world leading researchers: Dr Gilles Dowek (INRIA Paris), Dr Kohei Honda (Queen Mary London), Prof Stefano Leonardi (Sapienza University of Rome), Prof Daniel A. Spielman (Yale), and Prof Berthold Vöcking (RWTH Aachen).
The conference is also one of the Alan Turing Centenary Celebration events, celebrating the Life and Work, and Legacy of Alan Turing. Prof David Harel from the Weizmann Institute of Science, will give a special Alan Turing talk during the conference.
- EATCS and ACM's Special Interest Group on Algorithms and Computation Theory (SIGACT) awarded the Gödel Prize 2012 to three groups of researchers for their contributions to understanding how selfish behavior by users and service providers impacts the behavior of the Internet and other complex computational systems. The papers were presented by Elias Koutsoupias and Christos H. Papadimitriou, Tim Roughgarden and Éva Tardos, and Noam Nisan and Amir Ronen.
- The Presburger Award Committee 2012, consisting of Monika Henzinger, Antonin Kucera, and Stefano Leonardi (chair), has unanimously decided to propose Venkatesan Guruswami (Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh) and Mihai Patrascu (AT&T Labs) as joint recipients of the 2012 EATCS Presburger Award for young scientists. (pdf)
- The EATCS Awards Committee consisting of Leslie Ann Goldberg, Friedhelm Meyer auf der Heide and Eugenio Moggi (chair), has unanimously decided to give the 2012 EATCS Award to Moshe Vardi (Rice University). (pdf)
The main conference will be preceded by a series of workshops taking place on Sunday, July 8:
The Department of Computer Science is proud to present a day of talks celebrating the life and work of Alan Turing, a pioneer in mathematics and the founding father of Computer Science. The day, which marks the centenary of Turing’s birth, will feature lectures from leading academics on Turing’s contributions and their enduring relevance to a broad range of scientific disciplines.
The event is open to all, and attendance from undergraduate and postgraduate students is warmly welcomed. There will be a series of talks on the life and work of Turning, the chance to chat over coffee and buffet lunch.
For more information on the celebration go to http://go.warwick.ac.uk/turing
The International Conference on Knowledge and Smart Technologies was held at Burapha University, Thailand on 8th - 10th July. One of the keynote lectures was given by Steve Russ (Knowing and Computing) and the conference was preceded by a day-long workshop on Introduction to Empirical Modelling. The workshop was led by two former PhD students from Warwick Jaratsri Rungrattanaubol and Antony Harfield now both lecturing at Naresuan University, Thailand. The Dean of the Faculty of Informatics at Burapha is Dr Suwanna Rasmequan who also gained her PhD from the Empirical Modelling research group at Warwick.
The main picture shows these three Warwick PhD’s (on the right) with Dr Krisana Chinnasarn (the main conference organiser). Following the conference Steve gave lectures and presentations at Chulalongkorn University, Thammasat University, Sirindhorn Institute of Technology, Naresuan University and the British Chamber of Commerce in Bangkok. A further workshop on Empirical Modelling is planned in Thailand for November 2011.