conference announcement
Thu, 12 May 1994 08:31:33 -0700

I thought this conference session might be of interest:

IMACS Announcement - please distribute to interested parties

The 14th IMACS World Congress is in Atlanta this year, July 11-15 (IMACS is
the International Association for Mathematics and Computers in Simulation). I
have organized a session on ``New Mathematics for Computing'' (see my proposal
to the conference organizers below), which includes 7 papers on context and
self-reference, other new logics, and a few other topics I find interesting.
I have some thoughtful people from the mathematics, computing and artificial
intelligence communities who will speculate interestingly about what new
mathematics might be needed for computing.

(for more detailed conference information, see below)

The reason for the session is to start discussions and announce our interest
to the rest of the research community. The session will therefore contain
more speculative notions and research problems than solutions, though a few
promising or successful directions are included.

In particular (just to give you an idea of my own prejudices), I think that
the area of computational complexity is not helpful in the way I want, since
asymptotics are not the main problem; the constants needed for the mid-range
(very large but not infinitely large values) are.

I am especially interested in the kinds of computing problems people think the
research community has skipped or deferred because they are too inelegant or
otherwise strange (heterogeneity is an important property of complex systems).
I want to make this session an announcement to all mathematicians and "fellow
travelers" that we need more models, methods, concepts, and formal spaces in
which to do interesting things if we are to study complex systems effectively.

Session Proposal for IMACS

Title: New Mathematics for Computing

There is no existing mathematics that can adequately describe some of the new
computational paradigms now in widespread use in software for complex systems
involving computers, and it is even harder to give a formal basis for hybrid
combinations among these new paradigms. This session will focus on the new
kinds of mathematics that these systems seem to require, and on some promising
lines of research in mathematics and computation.

Dr. Christopher Landauer
System Planning and Development Division
The Aerospace Corporation
The Hallmark Building, Suite 187
13873 Park Center Road, Herndon, Virginia 22071
e-mail:, Phone: (703) 318-1666, FAX: (703) 318-5409

The Conference organizer is

William F. Ames
School of Mathematics
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0160
(404) 894-3953