History of Formal Methods 2019 workshop

History of Formal Methods 2019 workshop

Friday 11 October 2019 (All day)
Alfandega Porto Congress Centre, Porto, Portugal

Registration for attendance is now open. Register via the FM website.

At the 3rd World Congress on Formal Methods, October 2019 in Porto, Portugal, there will be a workshop on the history of Formal Methods in computing, including theoretical computing and foundations of computation. This is a field which overlaps considerably with mathematics and so is advertised here for the interest of members. See the website for more information.

The program of accepted talks is visible on the workshop website.

This is a workshop on the history of formal methods in computing. The aim is to bring together historians of computing, technology, and science with practitioners in the field of formal methods to reflect on the discipline’s history. There will be a round of abstract submission prior to the workshop which will determine who is invited to give a presentation at the workshop. Afterwards, presenters may submit papers based on their presentations for inclusion in the workshop’s proceedings. 


The theme of the workshop is the history of formal methods in computing. By 'formal methods' we mean mathematical or logical techniques for modelling, specifying, and reasoning about aspects of computing. This could include programming language description, concurrency modelling, theorem proving, program specification and verification, or mathematical foundations of computing. 

Theoretical aspects of computing have been present almost since the beginning of electronic computers, and in various ways these techniques have evolved and changed, including into what are now called “Formal Methods”. Such aspects have been instrumental in developing fundamental understanding of computation and providing techniques for rigorous development of software, but have not always had the desired impact on practical and industrial computing. 

This makes the field ripe for historical research and we invite submissions to our workshop which take a historical view of the topic. This may include discussion of developments of various formal methods, evolving agendas within the field, consideration of the effect of social and cultural factors, and evaluation of the way in which formal methods have impacted computing more broadly. 

The workshop is intended to be of interest to current researchers in formal methods and to be accessible to people without any historical background. It should also be a venue for historians of science whose work covers formal aspects of computing as we believe understanding the the history of the field brings greater clarity to current technical research. We encourage early stage researchers to try their hand at historical reflection and gain an idea of the field’s grounding; we invite historians to contribute to the history of formal methods; and we invite researchers who have worked in formal methods for whom an historical talk provides the opportunity to reflect on their field.

Important Dates

  • Call for papers: January 2019
  • Submissions: 30 April 2019
  • Notification of acceptance: 30 June 2019
  • Presentations ready: 1 September 2019
  • Workshop: 11th October 2019
  • Papers for proceedings: 31 December 2019


Troy Astarte & Brian Randell (Newcastle University)