Here I will limit myself to giving a few remarks on the last three days of the ICALP conference.
On Wednesday, Bruno Courcelle (Labri, Universitè Bordeaux, France) delivered a plenary invited talk entitled Graph Structure and Monadic Second-order Logic: Language Theoretical Aspects. Courcelle is one of the 15 most cited French scientists and the most cited French computer scientist. (See http://www.labri.fr/perso/
The scientific programme on Thursday was kicked off by an invited plenary talk by Peter Winkler (Dartmouth, USA). The talk, entitled Optimality and Greed in Dynamic Allocation, described a method for proving optimality in dynamic allocation problems that relies on the assumption that "it's right to be greedy." The method was developed while Peter was working on two problems which arose at Lucent Technologies.
The scientific programme for Thursday reached its climax with the award ceremony, during which the EATCS award and the Gödel prize where handed out. After receiving the EATCS award, Leslie G. Valiant (Harvard, USA) delivered an excellent 30-minute presentation focusing on three topics that interest him right now. The topics are:
- Human Brain.
The Gödel prize talk, delivered by Daniel A. Spielman (Yale, USA), provided an outstanding finale for the day. In his talk, Dan explained the idea of smooth anallysis, how Teng and he thought of it and what he hopes the future will bring. Shang-Hua Teng (Boston University, USA) gave a personal and heartfelt introduction to the work they did to merit such a prestigious award.
The main event during the final day at ICALP was an invited plenary talk delivered by Javier Esparza (Technische Universität München, Germany). Javier's presentation was entitled Newtonian Program Analysis and presented recent work by his students and him that aims at using a computational approach to solving equations developed by Isaac Newton about 300 years ago in the analysis of computer programs. The talk presented exciting work and was beautifully and enthusiastically delivered. After the talk, Peter Winkler commented to us: "You saved the best for the last!" Javier closed the talk by saying that "Newton did it all 300 years ago, but he never saw Iceland!"
ICALP 2009 will be held in Rhodos, Greece. Good luck to the organizers of ICALP 2009!