ERCIM News No.30 - July 1997

DANIT ­ Denmark's Representative in ERCIM

by Fritz Henglein

DANIT is a Danish Consortium for Information Technology consisting of five research groups/institutions. The five partners include more than 100 members covering all six Danish universities and computer science departments and reaching major parts of the Danish electronics, information technology and manufacturing industries.

Denmark has a long and, given its size, quite remarkable tradition within information technology. This tradition spans from theoretical research at universities to practical development, in particular in electronic industries. Over the last thirty years Denmark has built up strong research groups within, amongst others, mathematical foundations of computer science, programming languages, software engineering, embedded systems, mathematical systems and simulation. All of these groups are represented as partners in DANIT. They are introduced individually below.

BRICS - Basic Research in Computer Science

The aim of BRICS is to establish and reinforce important areas of basic research in the mathematical foundations of computer science. The areas are:

BRICS organises about a dozen major activities a year ranging from mini-courses to summer schools, workshops and conferences and conducts a large number of weekly seminars. BRICS activities are reported in a newsletter published twice yearly. Furthermore, all information on its activities is made public electronically on the World Wide Web (, including announcements of seminars and lecture courses, profiles of researchers, and full versions of all BRICS reports.

Organisationally, BRICS consists of the BRICS Research Centre and the BRICS International PhD School. The BRICS Research Centre is based at the Department of Computer Science, University of Aarhus, in association with the Department of Computer Science, Aalborg University. Organisationally, The Research Centre is an autonomous centre with its own management, and yet with its activities strongly integrated with the existing infrastructure and student environments at the two universities.

The recently established BRICS International PhD School is based at Aarhus University. It aims to strengthen and serve as a model for PhD education in Denmark. It offers a programme of courses and project work of high scientific quality and seeks to attract both Danish and foreign PhD students of high international standards.

The board of the Research Centre consists of: Glynn Winskel, Professor (Aarhus), Scientific Director Mogens Nielsen, Associate Professor (Aarhus), Co-director Erik Meineche Schmidt, Associate Professor (Aarhus), Co-director Uffe Engberg (Aarhus), Project Manager Kim Guldstrand Larsen (representing DANIT in ERCIM's Executive Committee), Professor (Aalborg), Peter D. Mosses, Associate Professor (Aarhus), Michael Schwartzbach, Associate Professor (Aarhus) Arne Skou, Associate Professor (Aalborg), Sven Skyum, Associate Professor, Reader (Aarhus).

The board of the PhD School consists of: Mogens Nielsen, Associate Professor, Director Glynn Winskel, Professor, Erik Meineche Schmidt, Associate Professor, Brian H. Mayoh, Professor, Ivan Damgaard, Associate Professor, Olivier Danvy, Associate Professor, Peter Bro Miltersen, Associate Professor.

Beyond the board members, BRICS involves some 15 post-doctoral and associated researchers as well as over 20 PhD students, and it hosts about 80 short-term visitors and summer students annually.

CIT ­ Danish National Centre for Information Technology

CIT is an institution under the Ministry of Research. It was established during the spring of 1996 and has an appropriation of DKK 130 millions with a lifetime running up to the end of 1999. The overall purpose of CIT is to promote Danish research within the information technology area. This work is carried out in close cooperation with Denmark's foremost research environments and the Danish business community. More specifically, the purposes of CIT are to: support joint projects between public research institutes and private companies; enhance the exchange of knowledge and experience between IT research bodies and the business community; improve the quality of university education, specifically for PhD students; promote on-the-job training; and facilitate Danish participation in international projects.

The main tools and resources are directed towards joint state/private projects ­ an innovative area of cooperation in Denmark. CIT funds the participation of publicly employed researchers in such joint projects, with the relevant private companies funding their own participation. By now approximately 15 projects have been initiated with CIT funding, ranging from DKK 200,000 to DKK 1,800,000 annually.

CIT is a lightweight, distributed organization with branch offices associated with university research environments in Aarhus, Aalborg and Lyngby/Copenhagen. CIT management is headed by Morten Kyng (director, Aarhus, representing DANIT on ERCIM's Board of Directors), Jørgen Bansler (director of research, Lyngby/Copenhagen), Ole Lehmann Madsen (director of research, Aarhus), Lars Mathiassen (director of research, Aalborg), and Niels Damgaard Hansen (administrative director, Aarhus). CIT answers to to a board of management appointed by the Danish Research Ministry.

Computer Systems Section at the Technical University of Denmark

The Computer Systems Section at the Technical University of Denmark is part of the Department of Information Technology. Its teaching and research activities cover design, development, analysis, and modeling of hardware and software, specifically for embedded applications.

The Section offers introductory computer science courses, intermediate courses on algorithms, parallel computing, distributed systems, computer architecture and design of integrated circuits. At the advanced level, the Section is responsible for the Computer Systems profile covering topics such as real-time applications, verification, high-level design of integrated circuits, and software tools.

The Section's research covers design, development, analysis, and modelling of hardware and software specifically for embedded applications. The theoretical work in these areas is supplemented with experiments and construction of innovative prototypes based on new technologies and design methods. Currently the following subjects are emphasized: Real-time and embedded systems, asynchronous circuit design, high-speed circuit design, hardware-software codesign, formal verification.

The treatment of these subjects is based on experiments or development of innovative prototypes, eg in the application of new design techniques or specialised integrated circuits.

The faculty currently consists of the Assistent Professors: Anne Haxthaussen and Henrik Hulgaard, Associate Professors: Steen Pedersen, Jan Madsen, Jens Sparsø, Flemming Stassen, Robin Sharp, Anders Ravn, Hans Rischel, Michael R. Hansen, Jørgen Stensgaard-Madsen, and Ole Olesen. The Section is headed by Professor Jørgen Staunstrup.

DART ­ Design, Analysis and Reasoning concerning Tools

The DART consortium includes researchers from 4 Danish Computer Science departments: DIKU at the University of Copenhagen; KVL and RUC in the Copenhagen area; and DAIMI at Aarhus University (disjoint from the BRICS part of DANIT). DART is funded by the Danish Science Research Council.

Since 1991 the DART project has carried out semantics-related research addressing key problem areas within programming languages and associated software for program manipulation. Currently the following subjects are emphasized: Region inference for memory management in functional programs; global type-based program analysis for optimization; modules for Moscow ML (a system developed with DART collaboration); interoperability of ML and Java; partial evaluation for program speedups; practical applications of partial evaluation; more powerful automatic program transformation technologies; metaprogramming; complexity issues related to programming languages; lambda calculus; analysis of concurrent and object-oriented languages; principles of program analysis.

The research is characterised by having strong theoretical foundations and by being supplemented by realistic experimentation to assess the viability of theoretical developments for practical applications.

The DART researchers currently consist of Assistant Professors: Torben Amtoft, Jesper Jørgensen and Morten H. Sørensen; and Associate Professors: Nils Andersen, Henning Christiansen, Robert Glueck, Fritz Henglein, Niels Jørgensen, Torben Mogensen, Flemming Nielson, Hanne Riis Nielson, Mads Rosendahl, Peter Sestoft, and Mads Tofte. The DART project is headed by Professor Neil Jones. In addition, there are varying numbers of postdoctoral guests, and PhD and MSc students.

LCAM ­ Lindo Centre for Applied Mathematics

LCAM is part of the Maersk Mc-Kinney Møller Institute for Production Technology at Odense University, founded as a result of a gift of DKK 75,000,000 from the A.P. Moller Foundation. The Institute is responsible for the degree programmes in Computer Systems Engineering and Applied Mathematics at Odense University. The main research projects of the Institute involve the design and construction of complex manufacturing systems, integrating marketing, design and production in a single CWIS.

An example of a completed project is AMROSE, a collaboration with Odense Steel Shipyard, whose aim was an automatic programming system for welding robots. This system, which is currently welding the curved sections in a series of 15 Post-Panamax container ships, has been encapsulated in a limited company AMROSE A/S. Examples of current projects are: robotic systems capable of automatically generating robot programs for painting robots and controlling them; robot systems for automatically performing pick and place operations for heavy industrial products; software tools supporting interactive design; distributed real time for control; vision systems for inspection and production. The corresponding research activities are mechatronics, sensor technology, software engineering and man-machine interfaces.

The permanent staff of the Institute is currently expanding from the present members to a permanent staff of 15. Current members are: Assistant Professor Peder Thusgaard Ruhoff (Applied Mathematics), Associate Professor Henrik Gordon Petersen (Applied Mathematics), Associate Professor Ivar Balslev (Image Processing), Associate Professor Laila Dybkjaer (Natural Interactive Systems), Professor Niels Ole Bernsen (Natural Interactive Systems), Professor John W. Perram (Applied Mathematics), Professor Wouter Joosen (Software Engineering, from 1/8/97), Professor Bent Bruun Kristensen (Software Engineering, from 1/8/97). Major research equipment includes a 24 processor SGI Power Onyx supercomputer and a number of robots and vision systems.

For more information on DANIT see on the World-Wide Web.

Please contact:
Kim Guldstrand Larsen ­ DANIT
Tel: +45 96 35 88 93

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