ERCIM News No.26 - July 1996 - CRCIM

Czech Consortium joins ERCIM

by Jiri Wiedermann and Michal Haindl

The Czech Research Consortium in Informatics and Mathematic, CRCIM, consists of four major Czech R&D institutes active in informatics and mathematics ­p; comprised of two universities and of two research institutes from the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. The university institutions involved are the Faculty of Informatics, Masaryk University, Brno, and the Faculty of Mathematic and Physics, Charles University, Prague. The institutes of the Academy of Sciences are the Institute of Computer Science (ICS), and the Institute of Information Theory and Automation (ÚTIA), Prague.

By establishing CRCIM from the previous four partners, it has been possible to create a partner for ERCIM and at the same time one that is strong enough to represent the whole Czech R&D community in informatics and mathematics. The final agreement on CRCIM joining ERCIM was signed on the occasion of the ERCIM meetings in Zurich 31 May 1996.

Below we will give a short description about the scientific profile of each CRCIM institute ordered according to the age of the respective institutions.

Charles University
Faculty of Mathematics and Physics

Founded in 1348, Charles University is among the world's oldest universities. The Faculty of Mathematics and Physics came into existence in 1952 by splitting from the Natural Science Faculty. The faculty consists of 21 departments, 3 institutes, a computer center, a nuclear center, seismic station and experimental workshops. In the academic year 1995/6, 1607 full-time students and 531 PhD students were registered at the faculty. The faculty employs 213 teachers (30 Full Professors and 91 Associate Professors). The faculty is divided into three schools: the School of Mathematics, School of Physics and School of Informatics.
The School of Mathematics consist of the departments of Algebra, Didactic of Mathematics, Calculus, Numerical Mathematics, Probability and Mathematical Statistics, Institute of Mathematics. The School of Informatics consists of the following departments: Laboratory of Software and Education in Informatics, Applied Mathematics, Mathematical Logic and Philosophy of Mathematics, Software Engineering, Theoretical Informatics and the Institute of Formal and Applied Linguistics.

For more than 20 years, among conferences and other scientific events, the School of Informatics has been involved in co-organizing the international conference 'Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science' and the conference SOFSEM on the current trends in theory and practice of informatics, that has been runing since 1974. The research activities of the School of Informatics involve complexity theory, automata theory, logic, combinatorics, computational geometry, parallel and distributed algorithms, neural networks, computer graphics, formal linguistics, philosophy of mathematics, databases and information systems, distributed systems, operating systems and software engineering.

Masaryk University
Faculty of Informatics

The Masaryk University in Brno was founded in 1919. The Faculty of Informatics came into existence in 1994 and consist of 3 departments.

The Department of Computer Science covers areas of theoretical foundations of Computer Science. In particular, programming methods, construction and formalization of languages and calculi, specification and verification methods, techniques based on transformations and partial evaluations, methods for deduction and evaluation of program properties, parallel and distributed systems formalization, and the application of formal semantics for these systems.

The Department of Program Systems and Communications is oriented towards structure, construction, and architecture of software systems, including the interface between software systems and hardware, operating systems, programming languages, data organization, database systems, principles of computers, and graphic information processing.

The Department of Information Technology deals with the technological aspects of Informatics, problems of development and operations of information processing systems, user interfaces, scientific and technical computing, and Artificial Intelligence. The department research is also concerned with problems of interdisciplinary IT applications (eg, chemistry, medicine, law, economy, linguistics). The department is responsible for educating future secondary-school Informatics teachers.

Research areas at the Faculty of Informatics are: specification-based systems, software engineering and methodology of programming, parallel and distributed systems, computer networks, electronic typesetting, advanced user interfaces, scientific computing and data visualization, information systems, didactics of informatics and applications of informatics at secondary schools.

The faculty co-organizes the international conferences SOFSEM and in 1998 it will organize the 23-rd international conference Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science MFCS'98.

Institute of Information Theory
and Automation

Since 1958 the ÚTIA has been a leading Czech (Czechoslovak) institution carrying out basic research in systems, control and information sciences. In the 1960s it obtained significant results on the entropy of various sources and on the capacity of information channels with memory. An algebraic approach to control system design was developed during the 1970s which yielded many important results, like a parameterisation of all stabilising controllers. The main contributions of the 1980s include a Bayesian approach to self-tuning control, a theory of Rényi distances in probability spaces, and a method of mathematical modelling of large-scale gas-distribution networks. Recent developments are in recursive nonlinear estimation and pattern recognition. Currently ÚTIA holds research grants from many domestic and foreign agencies. ÚTIA also: The Institute has also been building up strong international contacts (CWI, SZTAKI, INRIA, CLRC among others) as an essential component of all its activities.

It regularly organizes the Prague Conferences on Information Theory as well as other events sponsored by the IFAC, IFIP, IAPR and IEEE. Last year they coordinated the 17th IFIP Conference on System Modelling and Optimization, Summer School on Adaptive Control, Workshop on Industrial Control and Management Methods, and participated in the organization of other conferences. Among others, the following events are under preparation: the 2nd IEEE European Workshop on Computer-Intensive Methods in Control and Signal Processing, 1996, World Congress of International Fuzzy Set Association, 1997, IAPR Workshop on Statistical Techniques in Pattern Recognition, 1997, and finally the 16th IFAC World Congress in 2005.

Institute of Computer Science

Institute of Computer Science (ICS) is the major Czech computer science research institute.

The institute was established in 1975 as the computing center of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences and became a scientific institute in 1980. Since 1993 it is called the Institute of Computer Science. During 1980s the main activity of the institute was concerned with the research and development in information technologies. The institute also provided computing services and methodological support for other Academy institutes. After 1980 it has targeted mainly basic research in computer science and artificial intelligence. Its current research agenda is concentrated on parallel and intelligent computing. The research staff of ICS includes about 50 scientists and engineers, the technical staff consists of some 10 engineers.

The ICS consists of 6 research departments: Theoretical Computer Science, Parallel Systems and Computational Mathematics, Knowledge Systems and Data Analysis, Neural Networks, Nonlinear Methods in Signal Processing and Computer Communications.

ICS also hosts a so-called EUROMISE (European Center for Medical Informatics, Statistics and Epidemiology) which is a joint laboratory and training center, with the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University, supported by the EU.

The Institute has teams working in complexity theory (models of parallel machines, design and analysis of parallel algorithms), software engineering (object oriented approach to distributed computations), non-standard logic, neurocomputing and computational mathematics. There are research applications (via joint grants with the respective partners) in energetics, financing, quantum physics, agriculture, geosciences, medical informatics, etc.

ICS takes part in the education of university students and promotes postgraduate studies in computer science. It organizes international scientific conferences and collaborates with several universities and research institutes both at home and abroad. In 1995 the ICS organized the international conference Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science MFCS'95. In 1996 it is co-organizing, jointly with the Faculty of Informatics of Masaryk University, the international conference on Logical Foundations of Mathematics, Computer Science and Physics - Kurt Gödel Legacy GÖDEL'96.

For more information, including addresses and recent relevant news about CRCIM, see:

Dennis Tsichritzis, President of ERCIM welcomes the President of the Czech Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics, Jiri Wiedermann, on the occasion of the ERCIM meetings 28-31 May in Zurich, hosted by SGFI, ERCIM's Swiss member.
Left ro right: Gerard van Oortmerssen (Director of CWI, Vice-President of ERCIM), Pedro de Oliveira (INESC), Stelios Orphanoudakis (Director of ICS-FORTH, Vice-President of ERCIM), Bernard Larrouturou (President of INRIA), Franco Denoth (President of CNR Committee for Information Science and Technology), Péter Inzelt (Director of SZTAKI), Paul Williams (Chief Executive Officer of CCLRC), Dennis Tsichritzis (Director of GMD, President of ERCIM), Jiri Wiedermann (President of CRCIM), Rainer Berling (Managing Director of SICS, Erwin Engeler (President of SGFI), Pekka Silvenoinnen (Research Director of VTT), Aage Thunem (Research Director of SINTEF)

Please contact:
Michal Haindl - CRCIM
Tel: +42 2 6605 2350

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