Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Computer Science in Lund dissappears

I should have written this post a long time ago but for some reason I was hoping the decision would change.

I did my undergrad and PhD at the computer science department at Lund University in Sweden. Sadly it seems as the department will be closed down. The decision (Swedish) was taken by the faculty board in November 2007. As far as I can tell the decision was taken purely on a financial basis (even though the department is tiny compared the departments of biology, chemistry and physics).

The research at the department focused on algorithmics and AI and the small algorithms group was headed by Andrzej Lingas. The group, that among others also includes Thore Husfeldt and my former supervisor Christos Levcopoulos, has always been very active and produced high quality research and PhDs. When I was a PhD student there was a rather big group of successful students, for example, Andreas Björklund, Anna Pagh, Jesper Jansson, Mikael Hammar and Jesper Larsson.

From next year there will be no Computer Science education in Lund (however, there will still be a computer engineering program at the faculty of engineering). As far as I know it is unique for a large university. It will be very sad not to be able to visit my old department when I go back to Sweden.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

CATS 2009 accepted papers

CATS 2009 list of accepted papers is out.

I heard rumours (Prabhu and Tasos) that CATS got roughly 50 submissions this year. This is a huge increase from recent years when we've had approximately 30 papers per year.

The conference will take place in Wellington the 20-23 of January.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Attending ACM GIS 2008

The last stop on my around the world trip is Los Angeles and ACM GIS. The conference venue is in a big hotel complex in Irvine somewhere. If I look out the window of my room I see a lot of big buildings but not a single person...scary. I arrived on Thursday afternoon but I was so jet lagged that I fell asleep and missed the last session and the banquet. I woke up at 2:30am on Friday morning and could finish my slides well before my presentation at 9am.

I attended all the talks on Friday. Not much to report, some interesting talks but nothing that stood out. Should try to remember to write a post discussing conference venues, i.e., (remote) hotels vs. universities. Looking forward to get back to Sydney after all the travelling.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Dagstuhl - moving objects

In Dagstuhl for a workshop on moving objects. As usual I'm enjoying myself. It's something special about spending one week (unfortunately only three days in this case since I have to fly to ACM GIS) on a remote castle with lots of smart people and working on new and interesting problems.

This workshop is very diverse with people from computational geometry, data bases, GIScience, geography, visualisation... Which is good in the sense that I learn something new from every presentation. The drawback is, of course, that it's sometimes hard to communicate across areas, but it's getting better and better.

On Wednesday we did the "compulsory" hike and as usual (except when hiking with Helmut Alt) we got lost (I'm not blaming anyone).

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Project performance

NICTA has come up with a new great project performance indicator...the number of visitors to its project webpage. Needless to say that our project is not among the top performers. So if you want to support the algorithms people at NICTA please visit our webpage!