Great Ideas in Computer Science & Engineering (2013)


Once every few years the computer science community is shacked by some results that fundamentally impact several core topics. These results often have strong consequence on real systems, and thus, finally, impact our everyday life as well. This course has the goal of introducing the attendees to five breakthroughs, representative of different areas, showing the practical impact they had on computer science as it is today.


The lecture from Fabio Patrizi scheduled on Fri 21 has been moved to Tue 25 (same hour).


Sparse Least Squares on Manifolds
Lecturer: Giorgio Grisetti
Schedule: 19/6/2013 9:30-12:45 - room A7
Abstract: Several practical problems in robotics and in various domains of computer science can be boiled down to the solution of a Least Squares Problem. These include for instance Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM), and parameter calibration. In this course we will provide the users with means to address a wide range of LSP taking advantage of their structure to enhance performances. In parallel with the theoretical aspects we will provide several examples in octave/matlab. Prerequisites: We assume an adequate familiarity with basic linear algebra topics such as
(vectors, bases, transforms, isometry, eigenvalue decompositions).

The CAP theorem and the design of large scale distributed systems
Lecturer: Silvia Bonomi and Leonardo Querzoni
Schedule: 24/6/2013 9:30-12:45 - room A7
Abstract: The success of the *-as-a-service business model recently shifted the demand for reliable architectures towards previously unseen scales. Modern cloud platforms represent the main result of years of research in the area of large scale distributed systems. Yet, the design of their internal architectures pushed researchers to find new solutions to well known problems in order to withstand the sheer scale and the demand for elasticity that characterize cloud scenarios. This lectures aims at analyzing current trends in the design of large scale distributed systems with a special focus on how their features are always the result of a fundamental tradeoff between their consistency, availability and partition tolerance characteristics.
Slides 1 - Slides 2

System Verification via Symbolic Model Checking
Lecturer: Fabio Patrizi
Schedule: 25/6/2013 9:30-12:45 - room A7
Abstract: This lecture introduces the verification of systems via symbolic model checking, with particular emphasis on the use of Binary Decision Diagrams (BDDs) as a way to efficiently manipulate transition systems. After discussing the basic notions of CTL model checking and briefly describing the corresponding algorithm, an in-depth presentation of BDDs is offered, which covers all fundamental aspects of the topic.

Wireless Sensor Networks: from theory to practice ... and back again
Lecturer: Andrea Vitaletti
Schedule: 26/6/2013 9:30-12:45 - room A7
Abstract: The theory of wireless communication is usually based on Unit Disk Graphs (UDG). In this lecture we will discuss two fundamental results on the capacity of wireless networks (Gupta and Kumar) and on how the mobility can increase the capacity of wireless networks (Grossglauser and Tse) with a particular care in analysing the limits of the assumptions made in such papers when they are considered in practical cases.

Conceptual modeling: ER and beyond
Lecturer: Domenico Lembo and Antonella Poggi
Schedule: 27/6/2013 9:30-12:45 - room A7
Abstract: This lecture aims at providing an overview of conceptual modeling. After recalling the Entity-Relationship Model, it will present its limits, both in terms of expressibility and exploitability. Then it will introduce Description Logics, in general, and show how they overcome ER limits, in terms of expressive power and reasoning capabilities. Finally, we will focus on a specific Description Logic, named DL-Lite, which is specifically tailored to capture all those constructs that are typically used in conceptual modeling, while keeping reasoning ef´Čücient.