Excursions in Algorithmics:
A late festschrift for Franco P. Preparata
Brown University, Providence, RI
October 27-28, 2006
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.
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
University and by IAM Technologies,
For more information
with any questions.