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Prof. Robin Milner

WCC2004 Plenary keynote addresses

Prof. Milner: Grand Challenges in Computing Research: the Global Ubiquitous Computer
Abstract
The UK Computing research Committee has launched a programme of Grand Challenges, to focus the long-term aspirations of the computing research community (national and international) both in science and in engineering. At present there are seven proposals for such challenges, arising from ideas submitted to a workshop in 2002. For each proposal there is a core group of researchers aiming to form a road-map.
Two of these proposed Challenges involve what may be called the Global Ubiquitous Computer; it subsumes both the Internet and instrumented environments. Its name reflects the reasonable prediction that, within two decades, virtually all computing agents (heart-monitors, satellites, laptops, ...) will be interconnected, forming an organism that is partly artefact and partly natural phenomenon -- in either case one of the most complex ever constructed or studied. What models help us to understand it? What engineering principles can cope with the vast range of magnitudes involved?
My lecture will consider how to begin to address these two Challenges. Very many concepts are involved. They include authenticity, beliefs, connectivity, compilation, continuum, data-protection, delegation, duties, provenance, failure, intentions, locality, model-checking, mobility, obligations, reflectivity, security, simulation, specification, stochastics, trust, and many more.
Models are needed that explain and implement some of these concepts in terms of others. I shall end the lecture by describing some of my own work in modelling connectivity, locality and mobility. These notions arise naturally out of our existing models of concurrent computation, and can help to lay a foundation for global ubiquitous computation.

Biography
Robin Milner graduated at the University of Cambridge in 1957, in Mathematics and Philosophy. He worked in Ferranti Ltd (1960-63), The City University (1963-68), University College Swansea (1968-70), and the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at Stanford University (1971-72). He joined the University of Edinburgh in 1973, became Professor of Computation Theory there in 1984, and with colleagues founded the Laboratory for Foundation of Computer Science there in 1986. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1988, and in 1991 won the A.M. Turing Award. He was appointed Professor at Cambridge in 1995, headed the Computer Laboratory there from January 1996 to October 1999, then became a Research Professor until retirement in 2001. In retirement he is fully active in research.
His implemented logical system LCF (Logic for Computable Functions) was a model for several later systems for computer-assisted reasoning. He led a team which designed and defined Standard ML, an industry-scale programming language whose semantic definition is fully rigorous. His main contribution has been to the theory of concurrent computation, especially the Calculus of Communicating Systems (CCS) and the Pi Calculus, reported in two books: "Communication and Concurrency" (Prentice Hall 1989) and "Communicating and Mobile Systems: the Pi Calculus" (CUP 1999). He now works on rigorous models of mobile informatic systems, reconciling virtual and real notions of locality, connectivity and mobility.

Prof. Milner's Lecture Notes ppt

   Prof. Milner and Prof. Zhongzhi Shi.

    Prof. Zhongzhi Shi attend WCC2004 in Toulouse, France


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