LMS/BCS-FACS Evening Seminars

In association with the British Computer Society Formal Aspects of Computing Science (BCS-FACS), the LMS hosts an annual evening seminar on aspects of the computer science–mathematics interface. These events are free to anyone who wishes to attend, and have attracted high-quality speakers.

LMS/BCS-FACS Evening Seminar 2019

Speaker: Professor Marta Kwiatkowska (University of Oxford)
Title: 'When to Trust a Self-Driving Car...'
Date: Thursday 21st November 2019, 6pm
Venue: London Mathematical Society, De Morgan House, 57-58 Russell Square, London WC1B 4HS.

The seminar is free of charge. Please email Katherine Wright, Society & Research Officer, to register your attendance: lmscomputerscience@lms.ac.uk.

A poster is available.


Computing devices support us in almost all everyday tasks, from mobile phones and online banking to wearable and implantable medical devices. We are now experimenting with self-driving cars and robots.  Since embedded software at the heart of these devices must behave correctly in presence of uncertainty, probabilistic verification techniques have been developed to guarantee their safety, reliability and resource efficiency. Using illustrative examples, this lecture will give an overview of the role that probabilistic modelling and verification can play in a variety of applications, including security, medical devices, self-driving cars and DNA computing. It will also describe recent developments towards model synthesis, which aims to build these systems so that they are correct by construction. Finally, it will explore the problems of ensuring that systems that rely on learning will behave correctly, both in situations that they have seen in training, and in situations that they haven’t. 


Marta Kwiatkowska is Professor of Computing Systems and Fellow of Trinity College, University of Oxford. She is known for fundamental contributions to the theory and practice of model checking for probabilistic systems. She led the development of the PRISM model checker (www.prismmodelchecker.org), the leading software tool in the area. Probabilistic model checking has been adopted in diverse fields, including distributed computing, wireless networks, security, robotics, healthcare, systems biology, DNA computing and nanotechnology, with genuine flaws found and corrected in real-world protocols. Kwiatkowska was awarded two ERC Advanced Grants, VERIWARE and FUN2MODEL, and is a coinvestigator of the EPSRC Programme Grant on Mobile Autonomy. She was honoured with the Royal Society Milner Award in 2018 and the Lovelace Medal in 2019, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society, ACM and BCS, and Member of Academia Europea.

Previous Seminars:


Professor Bill Roscoe - Verifying CSP and its offspring


Professor Erika Ábrahám - Symbolic Computation Techniques in SMT Solving


Professor Muffy Calder - Probabilistic Formal Analysis of Software Usage Styles in the Wild


Professor Roland Backhouse - The Mathematics of Programme Construction


Professor Joel Ouaknine - Decision Problems for Linear Recurrecnce Sequences


Professor Philippa Gardner - Views: Compositional Reasoning for Computer Programs


Professor Jack Copeland - The Mathematical Objection: Turing, Gödel and Penrose on the Mind


Professor Andrew Ireland - Reasoned Modelling: Towards Decision Support for System Designers.


Professor Peter O’Hearn - Reasoning about Programmes Using a Scientific Method


Professor Mike Gordon, FRS - Forward with Hoare.


Professor John Tucker - The Equations of Computer Science