Next month (15 May to be precise) I will be attending a workshop in Austin, Texas. It is a workshop I organise myself together with my colleague and (by now) friend Stefania Gnesi. The workshop is organised under auspices of Formal Methods Europe. It is sponsored by my employer West IT, ISTI-CNR (the institution Stefania works for), and also by myself i.e. my company Thanos. The name of the workshop is FormaliSE: FME Workshop on Formal Methods in Software Engineering. It is co-located with the mainstream international conference on Software Engineering ICSE.
So what is the workshop about? Well, let me tell you. The software industry has a long-standing and well-earned reputation for failing to deliver on its promises and it is clear that still nowadays, the success of software projects with the current technologies cannot be assured. For large complex projects, many approaches have proven inadequate to assure the correct behaviour of the delivered software, despite the efforts of the (often very skilled) software engineers involved. The lack of formalization in key places makes software engineering overly sensitive to the weaknesses that are inevitable in the complex activities behind software creation. It is an increasingly complex task to develop large software systems because the systems are huge, with very complex behaviour, and many algorithms employed today are "pushing the limits" of what people can comprehend. This is where formal methods (FMs) have a huge opportunity. The main goal of the workshop is to foster integration between the formal methods and the software engineering communities.
This will be the 4th edition of the workshop. Previous workshops were held in San Francisco, Hyderabad (India) and Florence. Organising it has been so much fun for me personally and rewarding in terms of outcome!
We have an attractive programme with two keynote speakers: Pamela Zave from AT&T Research, USA, and Don Batory from the University of Texas at Austin. Furthermore presentations of high quality papers, and a panel discussion on the workshop's topics. For details, see www.formalise.org