Before he left Edinburgh for Cambridge, Robin Milner very kindly donated a sum of money to fund an annual lecture in Computer Science at the University of Edinburgh, to be given...
... by someone from outside the University who has done or is doing excellent and original theoretical work which has a perceived significance for practical computing. The spirit of the proposal is to keep a live connection between theory and application in computer science.
The Milner Lecture is a public lecture which is held annually and open to all. The speaker visits for several days and usually gives one or more other technical talks.
Robin Milner was one of the founding members and the first director of the Laboratory for Foundations of Computer Science. He then moved to Cambridge where he held a Research Professorship in the Computer Laboratory. He passed away on 20 March 2010, obituaries can be found at the Guardian and the University of Cambridge.
Milner Lecture 2012
Milner Lecture Tuesday 25 September 2012
Marta Kwiatkowska, University of Oxford
Sensing everywhere: on quantitative verification for ubiquitous computing
Ubiquitous computing, as originally foreseen by Weiser in 1990s, is a vision of a world where computers are invisible and become pervasive, embedded in our environment, equipment we handle, or even our bodies. These computing devices are sensor-enabled, so that they can interface to the physical world, and autonomous, silently supporting our daily activities and making decisions on our behalf. The progress towards this vision has been relentless, giving rise to a multitude of applications of smart sensor technologies, from environmental monitoring to healthcare. Robin Milner was a great proponent of the science for ubiquitous computing, arguing the need for appropriate rigorous foundations and reasoning frameworks. In this lecture, I will describe recent progress concerning the role that quantitative verification can play towards improving the safety and reliability of sensor-enabled devices, focusing on the kinds of models, logics and tools needed for this purpose. The research will be illustrated with examples of smart energy management, implantable medical devices and, looking towards the future, sensing at the molecular level.
Marta Kwiatkowska is Professor of Computing Systems and
Fellow of Trinity College, University of Oxford. She was elected to Academia
Europea in 2011 and received a prestigious ERC Advanced Grant VERIWARE
"From software verification to everyware verification", 2010-15.
Kwiatkowska's research is concerned with modelling and automated verification techniques for probabilistic systems, with application to engineered and biological systems. Her work was recognised by invitations to speak at the LICS 2003, ESEC/FSE 2007, FASE/ETAPS 2011 and SAFECOMP 2012 conferences. The PRISM model checker (www.prismmodelchecker.org) developed under her leadership is internationally leading in the area and widely used for research and teaching. Applications of probabilistic model checking have spanned communication and security protocols, nanotechnology designs, power management and systems biology. Her research is supported by £3m of grant funding from EPSRC, EU, Oxford Martin School and Microsoft Research.
Marta Kwiatkowska serves on numerous programme committees and editorial boards of several journals, including Formal Methods in System Design, IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering and Royal Society's Philosophical Transactions A. She was lead organiser of the Royal Society Discussion Meeting "From computers to ubiquitous computing, by 2020" and guest co-editor of the associated Proceedings in Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A vol 366 no 1881.