The University of Southampton

New ECS Professor to develop ubiquitous computing

2 February 2006

A new Professor in the School of Electronics & Computer Science (ECS) at the University of Southampton is working towards making global computing a dependable reality.

Professor Vladimiro Sassone, previously Head of the Department of Informatics at the University of Sussex, has joined ECS to help raise the School's profile and promote its external visibility in theoretical computer science.

After completing his MSc and PhD in Computer Science at the University of Pisa, Professor Sassone worked for a range of industrial and academic organisations, including Hewlett-Packard, and the universities of Aarhus (Denmark), Catania (Italy) and Queen Mary, University of London, where he developed operational and denotational models for mobile, distributed systems.

During his career, he developed an interest in the foundations of computation, with a particular interest in global ubiquitous computing and in how theoretical results can impact on practice and the industry at large.

He believes that the infrastructure will soon exist for global computing, but is not just about weaving sensors and processors into fabrics, or positioning RFID tags and ad hoc networking everywhere: it requires an in-depth understanding and a substantial furthering of the foundations of computer science.

He commented: "We are moving towards seamless computing or, what is increasingly known as, global ubiquitous computing, which means that we will have information available everywhere which can be processed cheaply and at high speed by a multitude of diverse computing devices. My interest is not in just making the technology happen, but in making sure that we have the right foundational tools and that we understand the systems we deploy."

Professor Sassone joined ECS because he believed that it would provide more opportunities for him to apply his foundation perspectives to applied research. He believes that as his understanding of the underpinning theories increases, he will be able to find synergies with applied research and mount joint attacks to the ubiquitous computing 'grand' challenge.

Notes for editors

  1. Professor Sassone's current research activity concerns the foundations of mobile, distributed systems, and aims at underpinning the development of robust, high-level paradigms for ubiquitous computing.
    His research interests include semantics, type theory, logics, formal methods, and, in general, the foundations of computer science, with main focus on languages and models for concurrency. His present research activity spans over typing, coordination, trust, security, access control, and behavioural equivalences for mobile processes.
    He has been Principal Investigator of the EPSRC Third-Party Resource Usage for Pervasive Computing (2003-2006), Coordinator of the EU-FET GC funded project MyThS: Models and Types for Security in Distributed Systems (2002-2005), and Director of the EU Marie Curie Research Training Centre DisCo: Foundations of Distributed Computation (2002-2006). He has been keynote speaker at several international conferences and workshops, and programme chair of major scientific meetings.
    Digital images of Professor Sassone are available on request.
  2. With around 480 research staff and students, the School of Electronics and Computer Sciences is one of the world's largest and most successful integrated research groupings, covering Computer Science, Software Engineering, Electronics, and Electrical Engineering. ECS has unrivalled depth and breadth of expertise in world-leading research, new developments and their applications.
  3. The University of Southampton is one of the UK's top 10 research universities, with a global reputation for excellence in both teaching and research. With first-rate opportunities and facilities across a wide range of subjects in science and engineering, health, arts and humanities, the University has around 20,000 students and 5000 staff at its campuses in Southampton and Winchester. Its annual turnover is in the region of £274 million.
    Southampton is recognised internationally for its leading-edge research in engineering, science, computer science and medicine, and for its strong enterprise agenda. It is home to world-leading research centres, including the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton; the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research; the Optoelectronics Research Centre; the Textile Conservation Centre and the Centre for the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease.

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