Karen Spärck Jones lecture 2018

Formal methods in the wild: modelling systems as they are

Date: Thursday 18 October 2018, 6pm to 7.30pm
Location: BCS London
Speaker: Professor Muffy Calder OBE FRSE FREng, University of Glasgow

Formal methods are traditionally used for specifying the behaviour of new software or hardware. But formal models can offer us much more, especially when the systems we have built are used in ways we never intended or anticipated. Models, and their analysis, can help us understand how systems actually behave in the wild, leading to possible interventions and improvements.

In this talk, Professor Calder will give a personal reflection on the role of models in computer science - based on her experience of developing and applying models in domains as diverse as telecommunications, systems biology, and HCI, and at design time, at run time, and after collecting sets of logged user traces from thousands of users.

She will show how models can help us understand and analyse systems as they are, rather than what we hoped for at design time, through two examples: a real-life safety critical communications system with failures, and a mobile app for which interactions of hundreds of users have been logged over many years. In both cases, unexpected behaviours were found - in systems out there in the wild.

The lecture is open to all and is sponsored by IBM.

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About the speaker

Professor Calder is the Professor of Formal Methods, Head of the College of Science and Engineering, and Vice Principal of the University. Her research is in modelling and reasoning about the behaviour of complex software and biochemical systems using computer science, mathematics and automated-reasoning techniques. She is one of twelve holders of the Suffrage Science Award in Maths and Computing, presented to celebrate her scientific achievement and her ability to inspire others.

2018 London Hopper Colloquium

University College London and BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, will be presenting the 14th London Hopper Colloquium on the same day at BCS’s London offices. This one-day event will feature women speakers talking about their research, to include a spotlight competition open to postgraduate students, and lots of opportunities to network with other new researchers in computing. The colloquium is aimed at early-career researchers and postgrad students.

Professor Muffy Calder

Professor Muffy Calder