Monday, December 19, 2005

Symposium for Klop

Spent the day at a symposium for Jan Willem Klop in Amserdam at the CWI, dedicated to his 60th birthday and 25 years working with the CWI. This was a rather intense list of speakers and subjects all related to research done by and/or with Jan Willem.

The first speaker was extremely interesting and from MIT. The man was introduced as Arvind (CSAIL, MIT) and the title of his presentation was Industrial influences of J.W. Klop: Hardware synthesis from TRS.
He showed us how the Term Rewriting Systems were applied in his area of expertise which is designing of MicroSystem Architectures. He showed the tools generated, the companies that have been launched based on these actions (Bluespec Inc. - http://bluespec.com) and how the worked for his students who designed 1 Million gate chip solutions in a 6 week lab exercise, can you imagine! Wow!

Another interesting presentation was given by Zena Ariola from the University of Oregon, my home state! She was previously affiliated with MIT, now on a year sabbatical back to her home country of Italy. Her talk was on Reasoning with syntax, an interesting though very mathematical, on Term Rewriting Systems as applied to optimization on the implicit parallel language Id.

There were other presentations but of less interest to me and much harder to follow, consider some of the titles and you will see why:

  • Thread algebra for strategic interleaving

  • Sharing in the weak lambda-calculus

  • Field Rewriting

  • A Proof of the Church-Turing Thesis


I had a good time, was rather buried under the math, but enjoyed watching Jan Willem being the center of attention. It is rather funny to see such a name in Dutch mathematics blushing like a school boy as the guests are singing Happy Birthday to you!

After the symposium I met up with my buddies from the university for beers and some food before heading back down south. The only other thing worth noting about my trip was that I lost my rear bike light and had to stop at a bike shop to pick up a new one, bummer!