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Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences

Semantics of Computation

1 July - 31 December 1995

Organisers: S Abramsky (Imperial College, London), G Kahn (INRIA, Sophia-Antipolis), J C Mitchell (Stanford), A M Pitts (Cambridge)

Games, Processes and Logic


The workshop will take place as part of the Newton Institute programme on the Semantics of Computation. The general aims of the programme are twofold. First, to refine the current framework for the semantics of computation so that it is capable of dealing with the more subtle computational features present in the programming languages of today and tomorrow. Secondly, to provide a framework for interaction between such fundamental research and the issues confronted by language designers and software engineers. We particularly have in mind current developments such as object-based concurrent programming, and projects to develop the next generation of advanced programming languages, such as ML 2000. The range of technical and conceptual challenges involved in this work requires active collaboration and flow of information between overlapping communities of mathematicians, computer scientists and computer practitioners.

Workshop Programme

There are long-standing connections between games and logic (e.g. determinacy of games in Set theory, Ehrenfeucht-Fraisse games in Model theory, dialogue games in Proof theory, etc. etc.) More recently, games have been applied to the semantics of computation, in a variety of ways:


The notion of concurrent process can be seen as one of the few key conceptual contributions of Computer Science with no evident precursor in Logic or Mathematics. As such, it sets new challenges for logical formalization. Apart from the extensive work on applying modal and temporal logic to concurrency, there is also much current activity on trying to combine process calculi with lambda-calculus and type theory in a unified setting. The modelling of imperative and functional features in combination, as in ML or ``Algol-like'' languages, is also very challenging. Milner's action calculi aim to provide a unifying formalism in a categorical framework; there are many other current approaches.

The aim of the Workshop is to bring together researchers pursuing these various strands, to compare and contrast the different approaches, and take stock of current progress and future directions.

The following people have already agreed to speak at the Workshop:

The organizers invite offers of contributed talks. These will be selected on the basis of submitted abstracts. Abstracts in English (up to 2 pages) should be sent (preferably by email) to

			Prof. Samson Abramsky (GPL)
			Department of Computing
			Imperial College
			180 Queen's Gate
			London SW7 2BZ

In addition to an indication of the results to be presented in the talk and their relevance to the theme of the workshop, the abstract should give the talk title and the speakers's name, address, telephone number, fax number and email address (when available).

Conference Location, Costs and Registration

The workshop will take place in the Newton Institute's purpose-designed building, in a pleasant area in the west of Cambridge, about one mile from the centre of the City. There will be a registration fee of 40 pounds (includes the cost of lunches, coffee and tea breaks). The Newton Institute can provide assistance with finding local accommodation---the cost of which is likely to be 40 pounds per day including breakfast.

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