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Hillston gives Strachey Lecture


OUCL welcomes Jane Hillston from Edinburgh University to give the Strachey Lecture.  She will be speaking onMaking stochastic process algebras count: modelling collective dynamics’ at 4:30pm on 16th November.

Stochastic process algebras have been successfully applied to quantitative evaluation of systems for over a decade.  Such models may be used to analyse the timeliness of response or the utilisation of resources of systems.

By modelling systems as collections of individual agents, the process algebra approach allows the modeller to capture the exact form of interactions and constraints between entities.  At any given time the state of the system is the collection of states exhibited by the individual agents. Inevitably this approach suffers from the problem of state space explosion making analysis inefficient or even infeasible, particularly in systems where we are interested in collective dynamics.  In these systems, although we model the behaviour of individuals, we aim to analyse the behaviour of the populations to which they belong.  Examples include clients accessing a server, people moving through their physical environment, or molecules interacting within cells.

The Strachey Lectures are a series of talks named after Christopher Strachey (1916–1975), the first Professor of Computation at the University of Oxford. He was the first leader of the Programming Research Group founded in 1965, which became part of Oxford University Computing Laboratory.  The first lecture of the series was given in 1995 by Dana Scott who had collaborated with him.  The lectures are given once in each term by speakers who are highly regarded in their field of computing science – for example Don Knuth, Sir Tony Hoare, Peter Buneman.

Jane Hillston is a Professor of Quantitative Modelling and EPSRC Advanced Research Fellow in the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, she won the prestigious Roger Needham Award in 2004.

This Strachey lecture will take place on 16th November 2010, at 4:30 pm in Lecture Theatre B, Wolfson Building, Parks Road, Oxford.  The lectures attract distinguished speakers, and we welcome people from outside of the department who may also wish to attend. Tea and cakes are served beforehand. The events are free, and attendance is on a first-come-first-served basis.