Sixth Meeting (2020/03/04)


Present at the meeting: Klaus, Claudio, Rustan, Leila, Catherine, Graeme, Brijesh, Pierluigi, Luigia

On the agenda:

  • FMTea workshop
  • Overview
  • What went well and what did not
  • Next edition?
  • COST Action application (deadline April 29)
  • Courses in the database
  • Courses database flyer for Formalise conf
  • Case studies
  • BoK


  1. We discussed first the FMTea workshop, held in Porto in connection to FM’19, on October 7, 2019, as not all present at the meeting attended the event.

    • Great success

    • 45 people registered, many more attending at all times

    • 22 papers submitted, 14 selected for publication, 3 posters

    • Invited speaker: Carroll Morgan

    • Tutorial speakers: Tony Hoare, Felix Freiberger, Bas Luttik

      • The morning talks (invited and tutorial) nicely complemented each other, with Felix and Bas discussing essentially online methods to enhance formal methods teaching and Carroll and Tony standing up for more well-established methods and practices of joyfully teaching the fundamentals of formal methods
    • Workshop papers: grouped in 3 sessions, shortly presented (10 min each), then discussed in half-hour panels (one panel per session)

      • We discussed the panel presentation approach that followed very short paper presentations
      • It was very interesting as an alternative and it saved our workshop
        • We did not expect so many submissions
        • It’s hard to reject papers at this type of workshop; what makes a teaching approach bad, that we would not like to hear about it? We have what to learn even from less successful experiences
        • We need more than two reviews per paper – two authors complained about this
    • Next time though, maybe we allocate 2 days for the workshop

      • An alternative would be to only have the workshop and not the tutorial part, but we all agreed that we loved the tutorials as well, and we should keep going with them
      • With 2 days, we could afford to schedule 30 min per paper presentation
      • We’ll see closer to the workshop if we still need the panels 🡪 we could also have more general panels including more than 3-4 papers as we had now
    • We did not discuss much the poster session; the chairs of the next workshop edition should ponder whether such session it’s needed. We added it more because of the “hard to reject” papers situation

  2. We discussed in some details the forthcoming COST application for funding. Here is a summary of these discussions:

    • COST is an European association for funding networking activities of 4-year projects that bring together at least 7 COST countries

      • Examples of activities funded
        • Training schools
        • Short term scientific visits (from 7 days to six months)
        • Conference organization and participation
      • COST countries
        • essentially all European countries
        • split into research-challenged countries (ITC – inclusiveness target countries) and research-strong countries (non-ITC)
        • every project proposal has to contain 50% ITC countries
      • from each country, many participants can adhere
      • international partners are encouraged to participate
        • they do not get funded as the COST countries partners are
        • participants from the international partners can be funded if they are invited speakers
        • they can host visits from the other participants in the project
    • The application is double blind, which makes a bit challenging: for instance, we have to argue we have a critical mass of participants to implement the project activities, without saying who we are

    • We can assume about the reviewers that they are not formal methods specialists, so we need to write the application with this in mind

    • A catalyst for a successful proposal is to demonstrate a high impact as well as a sustained focus on supporting early-career investigators (less than 8 years elapsed from their PhD degree)

    • The application consists on a 15-page document focusing on S/T excellence, Networking, Impact and Implementation. There are a few other online forms to fill in as well.

    • Deadline: 29 April

    • The status of our application

      • 16 countries
        • COST Countries (12): Cyprus , Czech Republic , Denmark , Estonia , Finland , France , Italy , Luxembourg , Norway , Portugal , Romania , United Kingdom
        • International Partner Country (4) : Australia , Brazil , Canada , United States
      • 23 proposers (people)
      • ITC rate: 50% (Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Luxembourg, Portugal, Romania)
      • Gender distribution: 70% males, 30% females
      • Average number of years elapsed since PhD graduation: 20.6
      • Number of early career investigators: 3 (out of 23)
      • S/T excellence section written, and some Networking section parts
      • Link to Google file distributed so that people can comment and contribute
    • We should extend our network, so if you know of people who are likely to enjoy joining us, please let Luigia know, so that an invitation is sent to them from the COST system

      • Apparently an average COST action has 25 COST countries (although people can join also after the action starts)
      • We would anyway benefit from having more early career investigators
      • We need to keep the 50% balance with ITS countries
      • From this map you can see what countries are ITC (the green ones):
  3. The rest of the items on the agenda remained for a future meeting.

The aim of the FME Teaching Committee is to support a worldwide improvement in learning formal methods, mainly by teaching but also via self-learning.