Valentino Bruni, che si è laureato con me svolgendo una tesi dal titolo “Algoritmi per la ricostruzione cofilogenetica”, ha ricevuto il diploma di laurea come studente migliore della Facoltà di Scienze Matematiche, Fisiche e Naturali, avendo conseguito il titolo nell’anno passato, con il massimo dei voti e nel minor tempo possibile. Congratulazioni, Vale!
Exactly one hundred years ago, Alan Turing was born in London. In 1999, the Time Magazine named him as one of the 100 most important people of the last century: how could it be otherwise, when we are talking about the man who basically invented the computer?
To celebrate the centenary of Alan Turing’s birth, the Computer Science degree program at my university is organizing a series of special lectures, a programming contest and several other activities. If you want to know more about these events, visit Turing@Firenze.
Yesterday, Leonardo Lanzi successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis in front of the committee formed by Roberto Baldoni, Linda Pagli, and Emilio Tuosto. Leo’s manuscript contains some of the results concerning the iterative Fringe Upper Bound methods, that is, the methods implemented in the LASAGNE application. Congratulations, Leo!
Yes, the LASAGNE application is finally available. LASAGNE is a Java GUI application which allows the user to compute distance measures on graphs by making a clever use either of the breadth-first search or of the Dijkstra algorithm. In particular, the current version of LASAGNE can compute the exact value of the diameter of a graph: the graph can be directed or undirected and it can be weighted or unweighted. Moreover, LASAGNE can compute an approximation of the distance distribution of an undirected unweighted graph. These two features are integrated within a graphical user interface along with other features, such as computing the maximum (strongly) connected component of a graph. The algorithms implemented in LASAGNE turn out to be extremely efficient when applied to real-world large networks (see the post on the diameter of Facebook).
I am just back from SIGCSE 2012. Great conference (almost 1300 participants) with several interesting talks (just look at the invited talk by Prof. Hal Abelson). I have presented the paper on making the Turing machine JFLAP simulator accessible to blind students: this is a joint work with Gianluca Apollaro and Leonardo Rossi. I am very proud of this paper, and I really would like to continue working on this topic: so, interested students are more than welcome!
I am very happy to announce that the diameter of the Facebook network has been computed by Backstrom, Boldi, Rosa, Ugander, and Vigna by making use of the iFUB (iterative Fringe Upper Bound) method, developed by Crescenzi, Grossi, Lanzi and Marino extending the ideas contained in the ESA 2010 paper by Crescenzi, Grossi, Imbrenda, Lanzi and Marino. The diameter of Facebook is 41 (yes, just one less than 42…).
Who hasn’t The C Programming Language in his/her bookshelf? It is so sad that the death of such a great man has not been reported in the Italian newspapers as much as the death of other famous persons “more or less related” to computer science. Anyway, Dennis Ritchie died on October 8, 2011 at the age of 70.
The submission deadline for LATIN 2012 is fast approaching (indeed, it is September 30). Submissions in all areas of theoretical computer science are invited. Areas include (but are not limited to): algorithms (approximation, online, randomized, algorithmic game theory, etc.), automata theory and formal languages, coding theory and data compression, combinatorics and graph theory, complexity theory, computational algebra, computational biology, computational geometry, computational number theory, databases and information retrieval, data structures, Internet and the web, logic in computer science, machine learning, mathematical programming, parallel and distributed computing, pattern matching, quantum computing, random structures, scientific computing.
Tomorrow the lectures of Theoretical Computer Science will start again. I really hope this year teaching the course will be as much satisfying as it has been last year. It is always difficult to convince the students that studying the limits of computers is as much important as learning how to program them: once again, I will do my best.