CfP: History of Formal Methods 2019

Call for papers: History of Formal Methods 2019 Workshop, 11th October 2019, Porto, Portugal (co-located with Formal Methods 2019)

This is a workshop on the history of formal methods in computing. The aim is to bring together historians of computing, technology, and science with practitioners in the field of formal methods to reflect on the discipline’s history. There will be a round of abstract submission prior to the workshop which will determine who is invited to give a presentation at the workshop. Afterwards, presenters may submit papers based on their presentations for inclusion in the workshop’s proceedings.

See the website for complete details and instructions on how to submit. Submission is via EasyChair.

The invited speaker is Mark Priestley.
After a career as a programmer and lecturer in software engineering, Mark Priestley is now an independent scholar of the history and philosophy of computing with a particular interest in the early history of programming. His publications include the books A Science of Operations and ENIAC in Action (coauthored with Thomas Haigh and Crispin Rope). His most recent book, Routines of Substitution (Springer, 2018), is a study of John von Neumann’s work in software development in the mid-1940s.


The theme of the workshop is the history of formal methods in computing. By ‘formal methods’ we mean mathematical or logical techniques for modelling, specifying, and reasoning about aspects of computing. This could include programming language description, concurrency modelling, theorem proving, program specification and verification, or mathematical foundations of computing.

Theoretical aspects of computing have been present almost since the beginning of electronic computers, and in various ways these techniques have evolved and changed, including into what are now called “Formal Methods”. Such aspects have been instrumental in developing fundamental understanding of computation and providing techniques for rigorous development of software, but have not always had the desired impact on practical and industrial computing.

This makes the field ripe for historical research and we invite submissions to our workshop which take a historical view of the topic. This may include discussion of developments of various formal methods, evolving agendas within the field, consideration of the effect of social and cultural factors, and evaluation of the way in which formal methods have impacted computing more broadly.

The workshop is intended to be of interest to current researchers in formal methods and to be accessible to people without any historical background. It should also be a venue for historians of science whose work covers formal aspects of computing as we believe understanding the the history of the field brings greater clarity to current technical research. We encourage early stage researchers to try their hand at historical reflection and gain an idea of the field’s grounding; we invite historians to contribute to the history of formal methods; and we invite researchers who have worked in formal methods for whom an historical talk provides the opportunity to reflect on their field.

Submission information
Submissions prior to the workshop will take the form of abstracts no longer than 500 words. If references are required, these can be added as an optional PDF file (and do not count towards the word count). All abstracts will be reviewed by the program committee whose details can be found on the website; based on these reviews, a decision will be made on who to invite to present at the workshop.

Following to the workshop, proceedings will be published (details of publisher to be finalised later). Please indicate during your submission if you wish for a paper to be considered for inclusion in the proceedings—select “Yes” even if you are not totally certain. All papers submitted for the proceedings will be subject to peer review.

Important Dates
• Call for papers: January 2019
• Submissions: 30 April 2019
• Notification of acceptance: 30 June 2019
• Presentations ready: 1 September 2019
• Workshop: 11th October 2019
• Papers for proceedings: 31 December 2019

The workshop’s chairs are Troy Astarte and Brian Randell. The program committee is listed on a separate page.