DIFCTUNL - NOVA LINCS Distinguished Lecture Series

The distinguished lecture series of the Computer Science Department (DI) and NOVA Laboratory for Computer Science at FCT-UNL brings to the department some of the most influential researchers and practitioners in the field of computer science. This distinguished lecture series aims at giving students and researchers an opportunity to know more about some of the most groundbreaking work in computer science and the people who led this work, and will hopefully become a source of inspiration for the future career of the students in the department. The series hosts one talk every year, so that it can focus on outstanding computer scientists and engineers who are leaders in their fields of knowledge.

The inaugural lecture in this series was given in October 2012 by Turing award winner Prof. Barbara Liskov from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Below, you will find the history of previous distinguished lectures and the calendar for the currently scheduled events.

DI FCT UNL - NOVA LINCS Distinguished Lecture #5 

September 28 th, 14:30 2016. Location: Main Auditorium FCT UNL.

Luca Cardelli, Microsoft Research and University of Oxford, UK 

Telling Molecules What To Do

Digital computers allow us to manipulate information systematically, leading to recent advances in our ability to structure our society and to communicate in richer ways. They also allow us to orchestrate physical forces, transforming and optimizing our manufacturing processes. What they cannot do very well, is to interact directly with biological organisms or in general orchestrate molecular arrangements. Thanks to biotechnology, nucleic acids (DNA/RNA) are particularly effective 'user-programmable' entities at the molecular scale. They can be directed to assemble nano-scale structures, to produce physical forces, to act as sensors and actuators, and to do general computation in between. We will be able to interface them with biological machinery to detect and cure diseases at the cellular level under program control. The theory of computability directed the design of digital computers, and it can now inform the development of new computational fabrics, at the molecular level, that will eventually give us control of an entirely new domain of reality.

Prof Luca Cardelli short bio:

Luca Cardelli has a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Edinburgh. He worked at Bell Labs, Murray Hill, from 1982 to 1985, and at Digital Equipment Corporation, Systems Research Center in Palo Alto, from 1985 to 1997, before assuming a position at Microsoft Research, in Cambridge UK, where he was head of the Programming Principles and Tools and Security groups until 2012. Since 2014 he is also a Royal Society Research Professor at the University of Oxford.

His main interests are in programming languages and concurrency, and more recently in programmable biology and nanotechnology. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, an Elected Member of the Academia Europaea, and an Elected Member of the Association Internationale pour les Technologies Objets. His web page is at lucacardelli.name.

DI FCT UNL - NOVA LINCS Distinguished Lecture #4

Also featured as part of the Department's 40th anniversary commemorative session. 

November 25 th, 2015. Location: Main Auditorium FCT UNL.

Jeannette Wing, Microsoft Research, USA 

Computational Thinking

My vision for the 21st Century:

Computational thinking will be a fundamental skill used by everyone in the world.  

To reading, writing, and arithmetic, we should add computational thinking to every child's analystical ability.  Computational thinking involves solving problems, designing systems, and understanding human behavior by drawing on the concepts fundamental to computer science.  Thinking like a computer scientist means more than being able to program a computer.  It requires the ability to abstract and thus to think at multiple levels of abstraction.  In this talk I will give many examples of computational thinking, argue that it has already influenced other disciplines, and promote the idea that teaching computational thinking can not only inspire future generations to enter the field of computer science but benefit people in all fields

Dr Jeannette Wing short bio:

Jeannette M. Wing is Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Research. She is on leave from Carnegie Mellon University, where she is President's Professor of Computer Science and twice served as the Head of the Computer Science Department.  From 2007-2010 she was the Assistant Director of the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate at the National Science Foundation.  She received her S.B. and S.M. degrees in Computer Science and Engineering in 1979 and her Ph.D. degree in Computer Science in 1983, all from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Professor Wing's general research interests are in the areas of trustworthy computing, specification and verification, concurrent and distributed systems, programming languages, and software engineering. Her current interests are in the foundations of security and privacy. She was or is on the editorial board of twelve journals, including the Journal of the ACM and Communications of the ACM.

She is currently Chair of the DARPA Information Science and Technology (ISAT) Board and Chair-Elect of the AAAS Section on Information, Computing and Communications.  She has been a member of many other advisory boards, including: Networking and Information Technology (NITRD) Technical Advisory Group to the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), National Academies of Sciences' Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, ACM Council, and Computing Research Association Board.  She served as co-chair of NITRD from 2007-2010.  She was on the faculty at the University of Southern California, and has worked at Bell Laboratories, USC/Information Sciences Institute, and Xerox Palo Alto Research Laboratories.  She received the CRA Distinguished Service Award in 2011 and the ACM Distinguished Service Award in 2014.  She is a member of Sigma Xi, Phi Beta Kappa, Tau Beta Pi, and Eta Kappa Nu.  She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE).

DI FCT UNL - NOVA LINCS Distinguished Lecture #3

September, 17th, 2014 - 16h00m (Main Auditorium FCT UNL)

Leslie Lamport, Microsoft Corporation, Seattle, USA

An Incomplete History of Concurrency Chapter 1. 1965–1977

It is insufficiently considered that men more often require to be reminded than informed. ~Samuel Johnson

A personal view of the first dozen years of the modern field of concurrent and distributed computing, viewed from the perspective of 2014. Further chapters are left for others to write.

Dr Leslie Lamport short bio:

Leslie Lamport is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research. He received the IEEE Emanuel R. Piore Award for his contributions to the theory and practice of concurrent programming and fault-tolerant computing.  He was also awarded the Edsger W. Dijkstra Prize in Distributed Computing for his paper “Reaching Agreement in the Presence of Faults.” He won the IEEE John von Neumann Medal and was also elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

Prior to his current position, his career included extended tenures at SRI International and Digital Equipment Corporation (later Compaq Corporation). The author or co-author of nearly 150 publications on concurrent and distributed computing and their applications, he holds a B.S. degree in mathematics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology as well as M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in mathematics from Brandeis University.

Leslie Lamport was awarded the 2013 A.M. Turing Award.

Dr Leslie Lamport short bio at Wikipedia.

DI FCT UNL Distinguished Lecture #2

October, 9th, 2013 - 14h30m (Main Auditorium FCT UNL)

Thomas Henzinger, IST Austria

Quantitative Reactive Modeling

Formal verification aims to improve the quality of hardware and software by detecting errors before they do harm.  At the basis of formal verification lies the logical notion of correctness, which purports to capture whether or not a circuit or program behaves as desired.  We suggest that the boolean partition into correct and incorrect systems falls short of the practical need to assess the behavior of hardware and software in a more nuanced fashion against multiple criteria such as function, performance, cost, reliability, and robustness.  For this purpose, we propose quantitative fitness measures for reactive models of concurrent and embedded systems.

Besides measuring the "fit" between a system and a requirement numerically, the goal of the ERC project QUAREM (Quantitative Reactive Modeling) is to obtain quantitative generalizations of the paradigms on which the success of qualitative reactive modeling rests, such as compositionality, abstraction, model checking, and synthesis.

Professor Thomas A. Henzinger short bio:

Thomas A. Henzinger is President of IST Austria (Institute of Science and Technology Austria). He holds a Dipl.-Ing. degree in Computer Science from Kepler University in Linz, Austria, an M.S. degree in Computer and Information Sciences from the University of Delaware, a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from Stanford University (1991), and a Dr.h.c. degree from Fourier University in Grenoble, France. He was Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Cornell University (1992-95), Assistant Professor (1996-97), Associate Professor (1997-98), and Professor (1998-2004) of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley. He was also Director at the Max-Planck Institute for Computer Science in Saarbruecken, Germany (1999) and Professor of Computer and Communication Sciences at EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland (2004-09). His research focuses on modern systems theory, especially models, algorithms, and tools for the design and verification of reliable software, hardware, and embedded systems. His HyTech tool was the first model checker for mixed discrete-continuous systems. He is an ISI highly cited researcher, a member of Academia Europaea, a member of the German Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina), a member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the ACM, and a Fellow of the IEEE. He has received the Wittgenstein Award of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and an ERC Advanced Investigator Grant.


DI FCT UNL Distinguished Lecture #1

October, 3th, 2012 - 14h30m (Main Auditorium FCT UNL)

Barbara Liskov, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Programming the Turing Machine

Turing provided the basis for modern computer science. However there is a huge gap between a Turing machine and the kinds of applications we use today. This gap is bridged by software, and designing and implementing large programs is a difficult task. The main way we have of keeping the complexity of software under control is to make use of abstraction and modularity.

This talk will discuss how abstraction and modularity are used in the design of large programs, and how these concepts are supported in modern programming languages. It will also discuss what support is needed going forward.

Professor Barbara Liskov short bio:

Barbara Liskov is an Institute Professor at MIT and also Associate Provost for Faculty Equity. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a fellow of the ACM. She received the ACM Turing Award in 2009, the ACM SIGPLAN Programming Language Achievement Award in 2008, the IEEE Von Neumann medal in 2004, a lifetime achievement award from the Society of Women Engineers in 1996, and in 2003 was named one of the 50 most important women in science by Discover Magazine. Her research interests include distributed systems, replication algorithms to provide fault-tolerance, programming methodology, and programming languages. Her current research projects include Byzantine-fault-tolerant storage systems and online storage systems that provide confidentiality and integrity for the stored information.