Franco Fest 2006

Organizing Committee
Nancy Amato
Der-Tsai Lee
Andrea Pietracaprina
Roberto Tamassia

Important Dates

  • September 26, 2006: Hotel reservation deadline.
  • October 9, 2006: Early Registration deadline
  • October 27-28, 2006: FrancoFest

  • Contact & Info

    Center for Geometric Computing
    Brown Computer Science
    IAM Technologies, Inc.

    Excursions in Algorithmics:
    A late festschrift for Franco P. Preparata

    Brown University, Providence, RI
    October 27-28, 2006

    General Information

    The workshop "Excursions in Algorithmics: a late festschrift for Franco P. Preparata" is being held to honor and celebrate the career of Franco P. Preparata on the occasion of his 70th birthday, which was in December 2005. The workshop will be a two-day event held October 27-28, 2006 at Brown University in Providence, RI. The program will include technical presentations and a banquet which will include reminiscences about Franco on the evening of the first day (Friday, October 27).

    Due to space limitations, registration is by invitation only. Please contact one of the organizers if you would like to be invited.

    About Franco

    Franco P. Preparata has been the An Wang Professor of Computer Science at Brown University since January 1991. Formerly, he was a Professor of Electrical Engineering and of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He received his Dr. Ing. degree from the University of Rome, Italy, in 1959; in 1969 he was awarded the Libera Docenza by the Italian University System. After years of industrial experience with Sperry Rand Univac and Selenia, a subsidiary of Raytheon, he joined the faculty of the University of Illinois in 1965. Since then, he has also been a visiting professor at the University of Texas, Austin, the U.F.R.J., Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, the University of Pisa, Italy, I.N.R.I.A., Rocquencourt, France, the University of Saarbruecken, Germany, Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris, France, Kyoto University, Japan, Academia Sinica, Taiwan, the University of Padova, Italy, and the National University of Singapore, Singapore.

    He has published over 200 papers and is the author (or co-author) of three textbooks: Introduction to Discrete Structures (with R.T. Yeh), Introduction to Computer Engineering, and Computational Geometry (with M.I. Shamos). He is on the Editorial Board of six of the premier journals in theoretical computer science. Franco is a Fellow of the IEEE and of the ACM, and he is listed in a large number of standard professional references. In 1993 he received the Darlington Prize of the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society. In 1994 he was a Fellow of the Japan Society for the Advancement of Science. In January 1997 he received the "Laurea honoris causa" in Information Engineering from the University of Padova, Italy.

    Following early research in switching and coding, culminating in the discovery of the nonlinear Preparata codes, for the past three decades the focus of Franco's research has been the design and analysis of algorithms in their most general connotation. With the remarkable evolution of computer technology, his research interests have been correspondingly evolving. He has been deeply interested in fundamental algorithms and data structures, VLSI computation and layout, and parallel algorithms.

    Perhaps Franco's most enduring interest has been computational geometry, a spin-off of algorithmic research aimed at the systematic investigation of methods for the most efficient solution of geometric problems. Geometric problems are ubiquitous in human activities. Sporadic, and frequently inefficient, computer solutions had been proposed before, but in the mid-seventies computational geometry emerged as a self-standing discipline targeted at this important area. The goal of computational geometry is to analyze the combinatorial structure of specific problems as the underpinning of efficient algorithms for their solution. The field burgeoned, and in the mid-eighties Franco wrote a textbook on the subject with M.I. Shamos that helped establish it in the instructional arena. Today, an enormous body of geometric algorithms is known and this knowledge is increasingly indispensable in several applied areas such as geographic information systems, computer graphics, and computer-aided design and manufacturing. Within the last area, Franco has also contributed to computational metrology - the assessment of the geometric quality of manufactured parts.

    Today, Franco's main research focus is computational biology (also called bioalgorithmics), an emerging discipline that entails the development and use of mathematical and computer science techniques to solve problems in molecular biology - another example of computer science interacting with other fields. Since the discovery of the structure of DNA about 50 years ago and the digital underpinning of molecular biology, huge amounts of data have been generated in this field, making it necessary to resort to sophisticated computer science techniques for their analysis.


    Financial support for the workshop is provided in part by the Department of Computer Science and the Center for Geometric Computing at Brown University and by IAM Technologies, Inc.

    For more information

    Contact with any questions.