Five papers from the Theory and Foundations (FoCS) Research Group and the Centre for Discrete Mathematics and its Applications (DIMAP) have been accepted to the 64th IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science (FOCS 2023), the IEEE flagship conference in theoretical computer science that will be held on November 6 - 9, 2023 in Santa Cruz, California, USA:
- "Chasing positive bodies" by Sayan Bhattacharya, Niv Buchbinder, Roie Levin, and Thatchaphol Saranurak.
- "Dynamic (1+epsilon)-approximate matching size in truly sublinear update time" by Sayan Bhattacharya, Peter Kiss, and Thatchaphol Saranurak.
- "Polynomial-time pseudodeterministic construction of primes" by Lijie Chen, Zhenjian Lu, Igor C. Oliveira, Hanlin Ren, and Rahul Santhanam.
- "Approximating edit distance in the fully dynamic model" by Tomasz Kociumaka, Anish Mukherjee, and Barna Saha.
- "Traversing combinatorial 0/1-polytopes via optimization" by Arturo Merino and Torsten Mütze.
Publication of Professor Edmund Rolls' Book "Brain Computations and Connectivity" by Oxford University Press with Open Access
Brain Computations and Connectivity provides a computational framework for understanding brain function in health and disease. The book also describes many discoveries on the computational functions of many brain regions.
The book includes research performed with many members of the Department of Computer Science including Professor Jianfeng Feng. The Gatsby Foundation is thanked for a grant towards the cost of enabling this book to be Open Access. A link to the book is available here.
Henry Sinclair-Banks, a PhD student in the the Theory and Foundations (FoCS) Research Group and the Centre for Discrete Mathematics and its Applications (DIMAP), has won a Best Paper Award at ICALP 2023, the 50th EATCS International Colloquium on Automata, Languages and Programming. ICALP is the main conference and annual meeting of the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science (EATCS).
Henry's paper, co-authored with researchers from Germany and Poland: Marvin Künnemann, Filip Mazowiecki, Lia Schütze, and Karol Węgrzycki, addresses the coverability problem in vector addition systems (VASS), a well-known model of concurrent systems. Coverability is an algorithmic problem for the verification of "safety properties": whether the system always avoids a set of bad states. Henry and his co-authors determine how much time is required to solve this problem in the worst case. They develop an algorithm that improves upon the state of the art that has stood for forty years. They also prove that, in several settings, it is impossible to decide coverability substantially faster, unless there is also a faster algorithm for a classic problem such as Boolean satisfiability (SAT) and finding cycles of fixed length in graphs.
Spying on the Spy: Security Analysis of Hidden Cameras
When you purchase an IP-based spy (hidden) camera for surveillance, are you aware that others may be spying on what you are watching? Recent research by Samuel Herodotou in the Department of Computer Science, Warwick, as part of his third-year undergraduate dissertation project under the supervision of Professor Feng Hao, has revealed a wide range of vulnerabilities of a generic camera module that has been used in many best-selling hidden cameras. Exploiting these vulnerabilities, an attacker may capture your hidden camera's video/audio streams from anywhere in the world, and furthermore, take complete control of the camera as a bot to attack other devices in your home network. To launch the attack, all the attacker needs to know is merely your hidden camera’s serial number. It is estimated that these vulnerabilities affect millions of hidden cameras, mostly sold in America, Europe and Asia. The (insecure) peer-to-peer network that is used by the affected cameras is also being used by 50 million IoT devices as a general communication platform. Hence, many millions of other IoT devices may also be affected. Researchers have responsibly disclosed findings to the manufacturers, and a CVE has already been assigned. Samuel will present this research work at the 17th International Conference on Network and System Security (Canterbury, UK, 14-16 August 2023). More details can be found in the paper.
Latest academic promotions
We are happy to announce five promotions in the department, with effect from 1st August 2023.
- Dr James Archbold has been promoted to Associate Professor (Teaching Focussed)
- Dr Richard Kirk has been promoted to Assistant Professor (Teaching Focussed)
- Dr Claire Rocks has been promoted to Reader (Teaching Focussed)
- Dr Ian Saunders has been promoted to Associate Professor (Teaching Focussed)
- Dr Sathya Subramanian has been promoted to Assistant Professor (Research Focussed)
Many congratulations to our colleagues for all their achievements!
Promotion to Assistant Professor
We are happy to share the news that Dr Alex Dixon has been promoted to the position of Assistant Professor, effective from 1 May 2023. Alex joined our department as a Teaching Fellow in September 2021, while still completing his PhD research. Despite juggling both roles, he has made significant contributions to the department's activities. Many congratulations to Alex for his accomplishments in completing his PhD research and for earning this well-deserved promotion.