DIMACS 1995-96 Special Year on Logic and Algorithms

Call for Visitor & Postdoctoral Fellowship Applications

The DIMACS Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science announces its 1995-96 Special Year on Logic and Algorithms.

DIMACS is a Science and Technology Center funded by the NSF, whose participating institutions are Rutgers University, Princeton University, AT&T Bell Laboratories, and Bellcore. Research and education activities at DIMACS focus on such areas as analysis of algorithms, combinatorics, complexity, computational algebra, discrete and computational geometry, discrete optimization and graph theory. A primary activity of the Center is to sponsor year-long research programs on specific topics of current interest, and one such program is this Special Year on Logic and Algorithms.

A dichotomy in theoretical computer science is best demonstrated by looking at the 1994 Handbook of Theoretical Computer Science. Volume A discusses algorithms and complexity, while Volume B treats formal models and semantics. Theoretical computer science in the United States is largely "Vol. A"-ish, while European theoretical computer science is largely "Vol. B"-ish. The goal of this Special Year is to bridge the gap between the two branches, focusing on three bridge areas: Computer-Aided Verification, Finite-Model Theory, and Proof Complexity. All three are emerging research areas that fit naturally between Vol. A and Vol. B.

Below is a brief description of each topic, and a tentative list of workshops associated with that topic. We also plan a series of week-long tutorials, one in each topic, intended to introduce students, recent graduates, and professionals from other areas to the topic.

We invite applications for visiting and postdoctoral positions at DIMACS in connection with the Special Year. We encourage people to apply to NSF or other granting agencies for support to be used at DIMACS, as well as applying to DIMACS itself. Many funding deadlines fall between mid-October and mid-November, which calls for speedy action by those who are interested in visiting DIMACS. For more information on these positions, likely granting agencies, or anything else, contact DIMACS as described at the end of this announcement. DIMACS will announce other postdoc and visitor application deadlines in November, 1994.

Computer-Aided Verification

Computer-Aided Verification studies algorithms and structures for verifying properties of programs. It draws upon techniques from graph theory, combinatorics, automata theory, complexity theory, Boolean functions and algebras, logic, Ramsey theory and linear programming. Since the DIMACS CAV workshop in 1990, worldwide interest in CAV has grown enormously, not only in academia but in companies like Intel, DEC, SGI, Motorola, Sun and AT&T. This creates an unusual and rewarding opportunity to see theory put directly into practice. We plan workshops in "Timing verification and hybrid systems" and in "Computational and complexity issues in automated verification".

Finite-Model Theory

Model theory is the study of mathematical structures which satisfy sets of axioms. Recent work on the FINITE models of a set of axioms has yielded elegant connections with theoretical computer science, including model-theoretic characterizations of complexity classes. Further, when a class of finite mathematical structures (e.g. graphs) is equipped with probability measures, one can often develop powerful meta-theorems called zero-one laws, which give conditions under which probabilities must approach zero or one as the structure size goes to infinity. We plan workshops in "Finite models and descriptive complexity" and in "Logic and random structures".

Proof Complexity

Two related notions of "proof complexity" currently motivate research at the interface between computer science and logic. One notion centers on the length of a proof, and the other on the complexity of the inference steps within the proof. It is well known that NP=co-NP iff all propositional tautologies have short proofs. But the connection between proof length and complexity theory goes much deeper. Lower bounds on circuits are closely tied to those on proof length in restricted systems, and advances on one front often lead quickly to progress on the other. By restricting the complexity of inference steps within a proof, one obtains a fragment of Peano Arithmetic called Bounded Arithmetic, which defines exactly the predicates in the polynomial hierarchy. Exciting recent work has shown that if certain theories of bounded arithmetic can prove lower bounds in complexity theory, then corresponding cryptographic systems cannot be secure. We plan a single, four-day workshop on "Feasible arithmetic and lengths of proofs".

Other Interactions

As usual, this DIMACS Special Year aims to be inclusive, not exclusive. Many other areas, beyond the organizers' ken, would mesh with these themes. This fourth, "catch-all" topic is intended to encourage all scientists who might benefit from interaction with logicians, combinatorialists and computer scientists, and with the topics we HAVE listed.

Federated Logic Conference

As part of this Special year, DIMACS will host a Federated Logic Conference (FLC). FLC will be modeled after the successful Federated Computer Research Conference (FCRC). The goal is to battle fragmentation of the technical community by bringing together synergetic conferences that apply logic to computer science. The following conferences will participate in FLC: CADE (Conference on Automated Deduction), CAV (Conference on Computer-Aided Verification), LICS (IEEE Symp. on Logic in Computer Science), and RTA (Conference on Rewriting Techniques and Applications). The four conferences will span eight days, with only two-way parallelism at any given time. We will make special efforts to bring about interaction between the various conferences. The meeting will take place in late June, 1996, on one of the Rutgers campuses.

For Further Information

You can use several methods to contact the DIMACS center.
By email:
For information on visiting,
By telephone: 908-445-5928
By FAX: 732-445-5932
By post:
Rutgers University
96 Frelinghuysen Road
Piscataway, NJ 08854-8018
You can also contact the following people: For prompt discussion of applying for visiting faculty fellowships, postdoctoral fellowships, etc.:
Eric Allender,
Moshe Vardi,

Special Year Organizing Committee:

Eric Allender, Rutgers U.
Bob Kurshan, AT&T Bell Labs
Moshe Vardi, Rice U.
Special Year Publicity Chair:
Stephen Bloch, Adelphi U.
Special Year Steering Committee:
Paul Beame, U. Washington
Sam Buss, U. California, San Diego
Gregory Cherlin, Rutgers U.
Ed Clarke, Carnegie Mellon U.
Steve Cook, U. Toronto
Allen Emerson, U. Texas
Joan Feigenbaum, AT&T Bell Labs
Orna Grumberg, Technion
Phokion Kolaitis, U. California, Santa Cruz
Daniel Leivant, Indiana U.
Richard Lipton, Princeton U.
Amir Pnueli, Weizmann Institute
Peter Winkler, AT&T Bell Labs

IndexIndex of Special Year on Logic and Algorithms
DIMACS Homepage
Contacting the Center
Document last modified on October 19, 1998.