Report on NEFI : NEw Frontiers of Informatics#

Report by H. Maurer

In the morning before the official start of the Annual Conference in Berge, Norway, on Sept. 11, 2012 the Informatics Section organized a workshop NEFI. The idea had emerged at a section meeting to which I had invited at last year’s Annual Conference in Paris. Jan Bergstra (Amsterdam) and Pavlos Spirakis (Patras) had agreed to be program chairs of the meeting.

I want to thank both of them for their very good work, particular Pavlos who did most of the e-mail writing and also chaired the sessions in Bergen. I also want to thank Dana Kaiser from Graz for keeping the information on the meeting up to date all the time on and also very much Marc Bezem for the excellent local organisation.

The meeting was, by all I have heard and by my own feeling, a big success: we had 12 speakers, and over 20 participants, some also from other sections.

You can find the list of speakers, abstracts of presentations as they were obtained, and a list of participants on the preceding page.

There had been some concern that the time slots of 15 minutes would be too short. However, not only did all but one speaker stick to the time limit, they actually used them as planned: to give a short not too technical overview of the new areas they are working in.

I do not want to discuss the talks individually, but let me mention the two given by members from outside the Academia Europaea: The first one by Thierry van der Pul from the European commission impressed us by showing how much money will be available from Brussels (via the next program, ERC, etc.) till 2020. And Marc Bezem impressed us by telling how far “verifiable mathematics” has progressed: the eventual aim of this effort is to make sure that all proofs can be verified step by step rather than often using hand-waving such as “by analogy” or “by induction”or “by symmetry” etc. “one can show that”….

Ten of us met for a dinner in a very nice restaurant in walking distance where Marc had made reservations: we competed with a nice concert in Grieg’s original home that had been booked by many in advance. We used the dinner to discuss a few important matters like the extent of the participation of the Informatics Section in next year’s annual conference in Wroclaw, Poland, September 14-17, future section meetings and/or section committee meetings, and the fact that we should nominate some top notch researcher for the Erasmus medal in 2014.

All members of the Informatics section will get more detailed information in a few weeks on those and other matters, when a few points have been clarified. All in all, we will certainly repeat NEFI in some form or another: indeed there were many voices that we should make NEFI an annual event, to further strengthen the visibility of the Informatics section within Academia Europaea.

Note in passing that the annual meeting was attended by a total of 160 persons, of which 20 came from the Informatics section. Since the average per section was only 8 we did very well, thank you, and we should continue this way.

There is a separate report on various committee meetings and the annual meeting, but let me just say that all those yearly meetings have one big thing going for them: they present a large number of very good talks from areas outside our own, at a level that supposedly is understandable to non-specialists. (Unfortunately, there are a few speakers who still do not stick to that rule.)

Please find a few pictures from the NEFI meeting below. And do join us next year at Wroclaw: it will be the 25 the anniversary of Academia Europaea which will be celebrated in a big way!

Hermann Maurer,
Chair of Informatics Section

PS: Most pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them!

Franz Baader speaking, with Ulrike Leopold-Wildburger and Yannis Ioannidis in the foreground, Pavlos Spirakis at the computer
Tucker, Wilhelm, Bjorstad
John Tucker, on the right side behind him Reinhard Wilhelm and Peter Bjorstad
Front row (l.t.r) Nebel, Baader, Leopold-Wildburger, Ionannidis; back row (l.t.r.) Teich, Reisig, Fellner, Droste
Fellner, Baader, Leopold-Wildburger
l.t.r.) Fellner, Baader, Leopold-Wildburger
Marc Bezem, Pavlos Spirakis
Marc Bezem (speaking) and Pavlos Spirakis
Thierry van der Pul
Thierry van der Pul
(l.t.r.) Jan Bergstra, Pavlos Spirakis
(l.t.r.) Jan Bergstra, Pavlos Spirakis
Front row (l.t.r.). Ioannidis, Tyugu; back row (l.t.r.) Droste, participant from other section, Mario J. Pereze-Jimenz
Front row (l.t.r.). Ioannidis, Tyugu; back row (l.t.r.) Droste, participant from other section, Mario J. Pereze-Jimenz
(l.t.r.): Reisig, Fellner, Droste
(l.t.r.): Reisig, Fellner, Droste
Ivan Bratko
Ivan Bratko
Relaxing afterwards
Hermann and Ulrike relaxing afterwards

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