Computer Science News
Promotions for two academic staff
We are delighted to report that Dr Theo Damoulas and Dr Gihan Mudalige have successfully completed their probations early, and become Associate Professors at the start of this month. Quoting from their probationary review reports,
Gihan has had a number of successes with attracting substantial research funding, most recently for two projects with AWE PLC, and one with Rolls Royce PLC. A further major success is Gihan’s Royal Society Industrial Fellowship, which will run over the next 4 academic years at 50% of Gihan’s time. ... Dr Gihan Mudalige is an outstanding and valuable member of the department’s academic staff, whose many likely future contributions to both research and teaching we are looking forward to.
Dr Theo Damoulas is a valuable asset to both Computer Science and Statistics departments in all of the research, teaching, administration and collegiality areas. Theo is already a next-generation research leader at the national and international levels, in particular enhancing the university's partnerships with the Alan Turing Institute, CUSP London, King's College London, and New York University.
it remains to say many congratulations!
Mathematical Sciences Building 'topped out'
Thursday 1 March saw the university's Mathematical Sciences Building project officially 'topped out': an event celebrating the construction as it reaches its highest point.
To mark the occasion, representatives of each of the Computer Science, Statistics and Mathematics departments decorated a central roof steel beam with an illustration of their subject. For our department, Professor Mike Paterson FRS drew his gadget for proving that the planar 3-colourability problem is NP-hard, a piece of research from the first decade of Computer Science at Warwick that is still fundamental today and being taught to our students. Professor Paterson commented:
I am delighted to have played a part in this momentous and happy event, that celebrates the many contributions of those involved in this project as well as those who have worked towards the three departments reaching this milestone. The state-of-the-art building, constructed by local people, will foster internationally leading collaborative research and teaching in our three rapidly growing subjects.
Dr Laurent Doyen is a new Rutherford Visiting Fellow
The Department will be welcoming Dr Laurent Doyen of CNRS and ENS Paris-Saclay as a Rutherford Visiting Fellow in 2018/19. This prestigious funding, whose aim is to attract top global talent into the UK, will allow Dr Doyen to collaborate closely with Dr Laure Daviaud, Dr Marcin Jurdzinski and Dr Ranko Lazic of DIMAP, as well as Dr Nathanael Fijalkow of the Alan Turing Institute, on cutting-edge research on fast algorithms for synthesis of safe, smart and adaptive controllers.
Professor Graham Cormode, the University of Warwick and Alan Turing Institute Liaison Director, commented:
Dr Doyen's Rutherford Visiting Fellowship will provide a major boost to building world-leading and long-lasting collaborative links among the Alan Turing Institute, the DIMAP multi-disciplinary research centre at Warwick, and LSV at ENS Paris-Saclay. The latter is an established European centre of excellence in logical aspects of computer and data sciences.
BBSRC funding success for Till Bretschneider
Prof Till Bretschneider has been successful with a £0.5M BBSRC grant application ‘Reconstructing cell surface dynamics from lightsheet microscopy data’ and will work with a team at MRC LMB Cambridge (Dr Rob Kay) and the Warwick Medical School (Prof Andrew McAinsh and Dr Karuna Sampath) on this research from October 2017. They will develop new image-based computational modelling tools to investigate the biochemical regulation and physical forces that shape the cell membrane during cell motility and uptake of fluid. Both are important processes in embryonic development, tumour metastasis, and the immune response. The work will benefit from state of the art microscopy in Warwick’s Advanced Bioimaging Research Technology Platform that allows to acquire time series of 3D scans of single cells at high spatial and temporal resolution.
Ranko Lazic appointed Leverhulme Research Fellow
Dr Ranko Lazic has been awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship for the 2017/18 academic year, to work on the Petri nets reachability conjecture.
Petri nets, also known as vector addition systems, are one of the most prominent models of concurrency, and their study is a vibrant research area. They have been used to discover bugs and eliminate vulnerabilities in network protocols, concurrent software, business processes, hardware circuits, and control systems.
Professor Artur Czumaj, head of the Foundations of Computer Science research group, has commented:
This prestigious fellowship will further strengthen the internationally leading research in theoretical computer science at Warwick, which recently has been also greatly boosted by the new permanent appointments of Dr Sayan Bhattacharya and Dr Dmitry Chistikov.
Dmitry Chistikov joins the Department as a new Assistant Professor
The Department is welcoming our new Assistant Professor Dmitry Chistikov, who will be associated with the Division of Theory and Foundations (FoCS) and the Centre for Discrete Mathematics and its Applications (DIMAP).
After obtaining his Candidate of Sciences (equivalent to PhD) degree at the Department of Computational Mathematics and Cybernetics of Moscow State University, Dmitry was a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems, as wel as at the University of Oxford.
The general area of Dmitry's research is theoretical computer science. In particular, he is interested in theoretical foundations of verification: its algorithmic aspects (decision and counting problems) as well as combinatorial aspects (extremal properties and characteristics of mathematical models of computation).
For more information about Dmitry's research, please see his web page.
New collaborative project on parity games
Dr Marcin Jurdzinski and Dr Ranko Lazic from Warwick's DIMAP inter-disciplinary centre and the Computer Science department, jointly with Dr Sven Schewe, Dr John Fearnley and Dr Dominik Wojtczak from the University of Liverpool, will lead a new research project on solving parity games in theory and practice, to run 2017-2020.
The project will be supported by approx. £750K from the EPSRC across the two sites. The proposal was ranked top at its funding prioritisation panel, and the reviewers said:
This is the strongest and best designed proposal on theoretical computer science I have seen in the last five years.
as well as
The proposal is about fundamental research, but there is a clear path connecting the expected results to concrete industrial needs on program verification and program synthesis.
Professor Artur Czumaj, head of DIMAP and of the Theory and Foundations research division, commented:
This exciting new EPSRC project builds on excellence in theoretical computer science for which Warwick is internationally renowned. It strengthens our collaborative links with Computer Science at Liverpool, who were likewise one of the leading departments for research outputs in the most recent REF.