[SIGCIS-Members] History of Formal Methods Workshop

Brian Randell brian.randell at newcastle.ac.uk
Tue Aug 20 08:08:46 PDT 2019

Hi - here is a message from my (senior) fellow workshop director, who is currently having difficulties posting to Sigcis.


Brian Randell


Dear all,

Registration is now open for the workshop ‘History of Formal Methods 2019’. You can see information and accepted talks on the website: https://sites.google.com/view/hfm2019/home. The workshop is part of the FM’19 World Congress and registration is via that website: http://formalmethods2019.inesctec.pt/?page_id=2363. It is vitally important that all registrants wanting to come to the workshop state their intention to attend while registering for FM. This should be done by selecting the workshop from the dropdown list if registering for just one workshop; or for larger registrations, the free text field should be used. If you have already registered for FM’19 but did not include this information, please email contactfm2019 at inesctec.pt.

The area of formal methods is a central part of theoretical computing. It grew out of work started in the 1960s to address errors in programming, as well as to bring mathematical foundations into computing. It has since become an important research area in its own right. Some formal methods have pedigrees of more than fifty years; others are very recent and will make their professional debuts elsewhere at FM’19. Looking back over the history of formal methods shows an intriguing research area with a complex intertwining of theory and practice; a struggle between academic rigour and practical utility. One key motif is a frustrating lack of uptake in industry and an ever-increasing arsenal of tools to ease this.

Now is a good time to explore the history of formal methods, to utilise the first-hand retrospectives and experiences of ageing researchers who participated, and to engage professional historians with the material. The topic provides the opportunity to explore questions like the utility of science, time versus money versus quality in software engineering, relations between industry and academic, and many more. The papers submitted to the workshop span a range of topics, including insider stories and consideration from the outside.

The workshop should have a mixed audience of both historians and technical researchers: a key aim is to get formalists interested in their history. 


Troy Astarte

School of Computing
Newcastle University

School of Computing, Newcastle University, 1 Science Square, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 5TG
EMAIL = Brian.Randell at ncl.ac.uk   PHONE = +44 191 208 7923
URL = http://www.ncl.ac.uk/computing/people/profile/brianrandell.html

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