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< Contents ERCIM News No. 57, April 2004

SOFSEM 2004: 30th Anniversary

by Julius Stuller

The 30th anniversary of SOFSEM (SOFtware SEMinar) took place in Merin (near Prague), Czech Republic, from 24-30 January, 2004 - the year in which the Czech Republic and other central European countries join the European Union.

SOFSEM is the foremost Czecho-Slovak conference in the field of theory and practice of computer science, being at the same time the most important joint activity of the Czech and Slovak ERCIM members CRCIM and SRCIM. SOFSEM, being an annual event, is organised in the Czech Republic two years out of every three, and in Slovakia every third year. As in previous years, SOFSEM 2004 was sponsored by ERCIM, involved researchers from ERCIM institutes in its scientific program, and helped to advertise ERCIM in the central European region through a small exhibition.

SOFSEM is a national conference with a strong international flavour. The proceedings are traditionally published in Springer's 'Lecture Notes in Computer Science' series. In addition to Czech and Slovak participants, it is attended by researchers from other central European and EU countries. Its aim is to foster cooperation among professionals from academia and industry working in various areas of computer science.

To avoid excessive diversity among conference participants and to facilitate close professional interaction, the thirtieth anniversary SOFSEM conference was organised in four parallel tracks, with topics narrow enough to attract a community of researchers who share specific fields of interest. The following four tracks were selected:

  • Computer Science Theory (track chair and general conference chair: Peter Van Emde Boas, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands)
  • Database Technologies (Jaroslav Pokorny, Charles University, Czech Republic)
  • Cognitive Technologies (Peter Sincak, Technical University of Kosice, Slovakia)
  • Web Technologies (Julius Stuller, Institute of Computer Science, Czech Republic).

The program consisted of a series of ten invited talks by prominent professionals and researchers, over forty contributed talks and talks describing work-in-progress and applications (these were selected by the program committee from 112 submitted papers), and the Student Research Forum. The schedule was tailored such that the 112 participants, of whom 44 were from the Czech Republic, were afforded a unique opportunity to interact with each other. As usual, SOFSEM provided an ideal framework for discussions and meetings, for establishing contacts, and for socialising. Many young computer scientists and students profited from this occasion.

The 30th SOFSEM also provided the organisers with the ideal opportunity to recognise the SOFSEM 'father' and the organiser of the first SOFSEMs, Professor Jozef Gruska. The Bolzano Medal of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic was personally awarded to Prof. Gruska by the president of the Academy, Prof. Helena Illnerova.

The organisers wish to thank the many sponsors of the 30th SOFSEM, without whom they could not have organised such a successful event. In particular, the contribution from ERCIM has presented a sensitive part of the overall conference sponsorship. The next conference, SOFSEM 2005, will be organized in Slovakia.


Please contact:
Julius Stuller, SOFSEM 2004 Organizing Chair and PC Co-Chair
Institute of Computer Science, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic/CRCIM
Tel: +420 266 053 200