Wednesday, December 17, 2014

PC chairs for ICALP 2016

I am happy to inform you that the PC chairs for ICALP 2016 will be
Many thanks to this colleagues for their willingness to serve as PC chairs for the conference, which will be held in Rome.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

REMINDER: The deadline for nominations for several EATCS Awards is approaching!

This is to remind you that the deadline for nominations for the following awards is the 31st of December 2014:
I strongly encourage members of the TCS community to nominate eligible colleagues for these accolades. Writing a good letter of nominations takes a little work, but  this is time well spent as it puts some of the many outstanding members of our community and their research areas in the spotlight, and provides role models for the younger members of the TCS community.

The deadline for nominations for the Gödel Prize ( is January 31, 2015.

The award committees for the above-mentioned prizes and honours look forward to receiving your nominations!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

A neat problem from the 1989 Maths Olympiads

A few days ago, Universidad Complutense de Madrid hosted a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Spanish Maths Olympiads. The programme involved three talks. The first was on "other number systems" (quaternions and octonions) and the second dealt with the roots of random polynomials. In the third talk,  Vicente Muñoz Velázquez presented his personal views on the nature of mathematics before discussing some of the highlights of his research area leading to Yang-Mills and Mass Gap.

According to Vicente, mathematics is a human product and its characteristics are:
  • (The rules of) Logic, 
  • (Modelling of) Reality, 
  • Beauty (transversality, relations between apparently distant fields, generalization and abstraction), 
  • Social activity,
  • Applicability. 
I could not help but think that those characteristics apply equally well to computer science, with the added twist that computer scientists are not only modelling reality, but also inventing and breathing life into "new realities".

During his talk, Vicente presented a problem from the 1989 International Maths Olympiad, in which he took part.

The problem was:

Prove that for each positive integer n there exist n consecutive positive integers none of which is a prime or a prime power.

This is a neat problem that perhaps some of you might like to try and solve.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

EATCS Fellows 2015: Call for Nominations

In case you have not seen it before, here is the call for nominations for EATCS Fellows 2015.  Do nominate strong candidates for this accolade!
Please note: all nominees and nominators must be EATCS Members

Submit by December 31 of the current year for Fellow consideration by
email to the EATCS Secretary ( The subject line
of the email should read "EATCS Fellow Nomination - ".


The EATCS Fellows Program is established by the Association to
recognize outstanding EATCS Members for their scientific achievements
in the field of Theoretical Computer Science. The Fellow status is
conferred by the EATCS Fellows-Selection Committee upon a person
having a track record of intellectual and organizational leadership
within the EATCS community.  Fellows are expected to be “model
citizens” of the TCS community, helping to develop the standing of TCS
beyond the frontiers of the community.

In order to be considered by the EATCS Fellows-Selection Committee,
candidates must be nominated by at least four EATCS Members.  
Please verify your membership at

The EATCS Fellows-Selection Committee consists of 

- Rocco De Nicola (IMT Lucca, Italy) 
- Paul Goldberg (Oxford, UK)
- Anca Muscholl (Bordeaux, France)
- Dorothea Wagner (Karlsruhe, Germany, chair)
- Roger Wattenhofer (ETH Zurich, CH)


A nomination should consist of answers to the questions below. It can
be co-signed by several EATCS members. At least two nomination letters 
per candidate are recommended. If you are supporting the
nomination from within the candidate's field of
expertise, it is expected that you will be specific about the
individual's technical contributions.

To be considered, nominations for 2015 must be received by December 31, 2014.

1. Name of candidate
Candidate's current affiliation and position
Candidate's email address, postal address and phone number
Nominator(s) relationship to the candidate

2. Short summary of candidate's accomplishments (citation -- 25 words or less)

3. Candidate's accomplishments: Identify the most important
contributions that qualify the candidate for the rank of EATCS Fellow
according to the following two categories: 

A) Technical achievements
B) Outstanding service to the TCS community

Please limit your comments to at most three pages.

4. Nominator(s):
Affiliation(s), email and postal address(es), phone number(s)

Friday, October 31, 2014

October 2014 issue of the Bulletin of the EATCS

The October issue of the EATCS Bulletin is now available online at from where you can access the individual contributions separately.

You can download a pdf with the printed version of the whole issue from

The Bulletin of the EATCS is open access, so people who are not members of the EATCS can read it. Let me thank the members of the association who make this service of the community possible with their support.  (EATCS members have access to the member area, which contains news and related articles and provides access to the Springer Reading Room. Young researchers can find announcements of open positions, news and related articles.)

This issue of the bulletin is brimming with interesting content, with five EATCS Columns and a piece by David Woodruff surveying the work for which he had received the EATCS Presburger Award 2014 amongst others. You might also enjoy reading the transcript of a dialogue between Christian Calude and Kurt Mehlhorn about theory, LEDA and Algorithm Engineering. I find it inspiring to read Christian's dialogues with famous members of our community and I always learn something useful from them. (Unfortunately, the lessons I think I learn do not make it often into my work practices. That's the theory-practice divide, I guess :-))

Here are a couple of excerpts to whet your appetite.
  • Kurt's motto, even definition, for Algorithm Engineering is: "Treat programs as first class citizens in algorithms research and not as an afterthought." He also adds that "Algorithm engineering is not only a sub-discipline of algorithms research. More importantly, it is a mind set."
  • CC: How do you manage to juggle between so many jobs in di fferent countries?
    KM: I try to follow some simple principles.
    I avoid multi-tasking. I set aside time for particular tasks and then concentrate on them. For example, when I was writing my 1984 books and the LEDA book, I would work on the book every work day from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm. I would not accept phone calls or interruptions by students during this time. Now, the 8am to 12pm slot is reserved for reading, thinking and writing. The no-interruption rule still holds.
    I clean my desk completely every evening when I leave my o ffice, so that I can start with an empty desk the next morning.
    When I accept a new responsibility, I decide, what I am going to give up for
    it. For example, when I became vice-president of the Max Planck Society in 2002 (for a 6 year term), I resigned as editor of Algorithmica, Information and Computation, SIAM Journal of Computing, Journal of Discrete and Computational Geometry, International Journal of Computational Geometry and Applications, and Computing.
    And most importantly, I am supported by many people in what I do, in particular, my co-workers, my students, and then administrative staff in the institute and the department. Cooperation and delegation are very important.
Enjoy the issue and consider contributing to future ones!

Friday, October 17, 2014

First CFP for ICALP 2015

The first call for papers for ICALP 2015, which will be held in Kyoto in the period 6-10 July 2015, is available here.

I hope that you will consider submitting your best work to the conference. The event will be rich of scientific events and will be co-located with LICS 2015. To whet your appetite, here is the list of invited speakers and invited tutorials:

Invited Speakers

Ken Kawarabayashi, NII, Japan
Valerie King, University of Victoria, Canada
Thomas Moscibroda, MSR Asia, China
Anca Muscholl, University of Bordeaux, France (Joint with LICS)
Peter O'Hearn, Facebook, UK (Joint with LICS)

Invited Tutorial Speakers (Joint with LICS) 

Piotr Indyk, MIT, USA
Andrew Pitts, University of Cambridge, UK
Geoffrey Smith, Florida International University, USA

Masterclass speaker 

Ryuhei Uehara, JAIST, Japan

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

CFP for CCC'15 posted

Dieter van Melkebeek has informed me that the CFP for CCC'15 has just been posted. The direct link is

The deadline for submissions is November 26, 2014.

I hope that members of the CCC community will submit some of their best work to the first edition of the conference with open-access proceedings published in LIPIcs