July 28, 2006

Interconnected Scientific Domains

Posted in C++, Computers, Programming, SAT at 10:43 am by pmatos

Today I was just browsing some interesting C++ articles (which will be subject of later post) and I just got face-to-face with ACCU (Association for C/C++ Users) page. I went up to see the benefits of membership and not only the conferences but also the bi-monthly journals caught my attention (and the low-cost fees).

The nice thing is that I was thinking to myself: “So many people in the SAT world program in C++, are they in anyway connected to the more Professional Programming C++ community? My immediate intuitive answer was: No!” which made sense since most of the time people in the research community are worried on publishing the paper and as soon as it is sent for review, a long list of deadlines follows which brings up a lot of more work: more study, more developing, more benchmarks, more writing, more … researching! This is kind of an endless cycle and no time is left in the middle for participating in out-of-the-study-subject community conferences.

Anyway, I went on to check where are the conferences, who are the organizers and which kind of people speak at these conferences. Well, amazed I was to see a name: Oliver Kullman as a speaker for the latest ACCU’06. The name is familiar! The description confirms his identity:

Oliver Kullmann

I did my PhD at the University of Frankfurt (Germany) in Mathematics in 1997. From 1999 to 2001 I was a post-doc in the group of Stephen Cook at the University of Toronto (Canada). In 2001 then I was employed as a lecturer in the computer science department at the University of Wales Swansea, where I stayed since then. Like most researchers, I have given numerous conference talks, publish regularly in international journals and visit researchers at other places.
My research is centred around the understanding of hard computational problems, where “hard” means here something around exponential time, which is typical for most problems in hardware and software verification, in artificial intelligence and in planning and scheduling.
Especially I’m interested in the study of the so-called SAT problem, the problem of deciding whether a propositional formula (boolean variables, connected by “and”, “or” and “not”) is satisfiable or not. Several years ago I’ve written a SAT solver (which was successful at that time), and now for several years I’m developing a generative C++ library for SAT solving (supported by an EPSRC grant since February 2004).

A fellow researcher in SAT is a speaker in a C/C++ users conference. That’s great. Congrats to him!
The application of C/C++ in SAT is huge since most people use it for performance critic software like SAT solvers. The interaction of SAT researchers with C/C++ professional programming seems to be quite useful since SAT researchers spend a great deal of time programming, most of the time in C/C++. So there’s no reason why they shouldn’t try to improve their programming skills and sharing their experiences with these communities. Way to go!

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