News Connections For Students

News and Events
The Algorithms Group attended ARCO at ITU. 11/11 2022
ARCO, an acronym for Algorithmic Research Cooperation around Øresund, is a network for promoting collaboration in research within algorithms around the Øresund Region. This time, the ARCO meeting was held at ITU and attended by Kim Skak Larsen, Joan Boyar, Kevin Schewior, Simon Skjernaa Erfurth, Magnus Berg Pedersen, and Rolf Fagerberg. Kevin gave a talk on The Itinerant List Update Problem.
The group participated in the DDC meeting in Nyborg. 8/11 2022
Joan Boyar and Kim Skak Larsen joined the 24-hour DDC meeting at Storebælt Sinatur Hotel & Konference, together with their Ph.D. student, Simon Skjernaa Erfurth. We enjoyed an informative meeting, updating us on the status of the various projects, while time was also reserved for discussions on how the Digital Democracy Center could develop.
Lene Favrholdt receives the university's teaching prize. 28/10 2022
The Teaching Prize at SDU is awarded once a year to one person. Given that SDU has a few thousand employees, getting the award is quite an achievement! Lene receives the prize for her special ability to make very complex material understandable. The prize is in recognition of her didactic approach, described by the students as elegant, intuitive, attentive, accommodating, and entertaining. Lene is in the middle with the Dean of the Faculty of Science on the left and the Vice-Chancellor on the right.
Members of the algorithms group attending DIREC. 26/9 2022
Computer scientists from all over Denmark met for the second DIREC meeting at Helnan Hotel Marselis in Aarhus. As last time, the meeting included an excellent algorithms session, and this time Kevin Schewior gave a talk on Recent Advances in I.I.D. Prophet Inequalities. From our algorithms group, Kim Skak Larsen, Joan Boyar, Jakob Lykke Andersen, and Rolf Fagerberg also attended the meeting.
Kevin Schewior speaks at the Workshop on Approximation and Online Algorithms. 8/9 2022
Kevin Schewior attended the Workshop on Approximation and Online Algorithms (WAOA) 2022. The workshop was part of ALGO 2022 in Potsdam, Germany, which had about 400 participants and several keynote speakers. Kevin gave a talk on Knapsack Secretary Through Boosting, a paper with his former Master's student Moritz Stinzendörfer (now TU Kaiserslautern), Andreas Abels (RWTH Aachen), and Leon Ladewig (formerly TU Munich), and chaired one of the sessions.
Magnus Berg Pedersen starts as Ph.D. student. 1/9 2022
We are excited to welcome Magnus Berg Pedersen into our group as a Ph.D. student. He comes with an MS in mathematics and a side topic in computer science. Magnus will work on the project Online Algorithms with Predictions, as part of the national undertaking of Digital Research Centre Denmark (DIREC), under the Innovation Fund Denmark. The project is carried out in collaboration with ITU. As the main advisor, Kim Skak Larsen is joint by Lene Favrholdt and Melih Kandemir. Joan Boyar will also function as an advisor for the online part on equal terms with Kim and Lene, while Nutan Limaye from ITU and Melih will advise on connections to machine learning from different points of view.
Florian Hoersch visits Jørgen Bang-Jensen. 29/8 2022
Florian Hoersch is visiting the department this week from the Technische Universität Ilmenau, where also a former member of the group, Matthias Kriesell, is located. Hoersch's received his Ph.D. from the University of Grenoble in September 2021. His thesis contains a number of impressive results on graph connectivity and orientations of graphs. He will give a talk in the Computer Science colloquium series.
Yubao Guo visits the graph theory group. 22/8 2022
Yubao Guo from RWTH Aachen is visiting the department this week. Guo's Ph.D. thesis from 1995 focuses on locally semicomplete digraphs, a class of digraphs dicovered by Bang-Jensen in 1990 and since the topic of more than 100 research papers. Guo has made substantial contributions to the theory of locally semicomplete digraphs as well as semicomplete multipartite digraphs. Guo and Bang-Jensen have a number of joint papers together. Guo will give a talk in the Tuesday colloquium slot.
Lene Favrholdt receives the faculty's teaching prize. 19/8 2022
The Faculty of Science Teaching Prize is awarded each year to one employee who has excelled at motivational and committed teaching of the highest quality. In accordance with tradition, Lene Monrad Favrholdt was nominated by her students. Students say Lene is one of the best educators they have met, with an ability to make complex mathematical concepts easy to understand. Teaching math on the first year to students who don't know yet where and why they need it is a special challenge, and Lene is recognized for her enormous effort and focus on the students. During corona times, she made an extra effort of giving on-site lectures while arranging that students forced to stay home could also both follow and ask questions on-line. Lene is second from the left and the dean is speaking.
Rob van Stee visits the Online Algorithms group. 15/8 2022
Rob van Stee from the University of Siegen visits the online algorithms group for a week. Rob is a friend of the department who has visited several times over the years, starting as a Ph.D. student. He has also served on thesis assessment committees for the department etc. Rob will give a talk in the Tuesday colloquium slot.
Jørgen Bang-Jensen attends ICGT 2022 in Montpellier. 4/7 2022
Bang-Jensen gave the talk Making a tournament k-strong by adding new arcs. This is based on joint work with Anders Yeo and former student Kasper Skov Johansen, now a research assistant at DTU Compute, starting his PhD studies there in the fall. At ICGT, Bang-Jensen also chaired the opening plenary talk by Reinhard Diestel.

While in Montpellier, Bang-Jensen visited his research collaborator, Stephane Bessy, at LIRMM Université Montpellier. They continued their long-term collaboration on the structure of directed graphs.

The Online Algorithms group represented at SWAT. 27/6 2022
Lene Favrholdt, Joan Boyar, and Kim Skak Larsen attended SWAT 2022 - 18th Scandinavian Symposium and Workshops on Algorithm Theory, for the first time held physically in Tórshavn, Faroe Islands. Lene presented our joint paper, Joan chaired one of the sessions, and Kim leaned back and enjoyed the performances. ツ
Lene Favrholdt and Kevin Schewior at MAPSP in Italy. 16/6 2022
Lene Favrholdt gave a keynote address on Paging and Packing with Possibly Precise Predictions at the 15th Workshop on Models and Algorithms for Planning and Scheduling (MAPSP) at the Oropa Sanctuary in Italy. At the same workshop, Kevin Schewior gave a contributed talk on The High-Dimensional Cow-Path Problem.

The chair of the program committee was Leah Epstein (U Haifa). The other keynote speakers were Alessandro Agnetis (U Siena), Thomas Erlebach (U Durham), and Alberto Marchetti-Spaccamela (La Sapienza). In total, there were more than 100 participants. MAPSP is known for a large number of high-quality talks but also its openness and the allotted time for discussions, e.g., during the social event, which in this case was a hike through meadows with cows to a mountain lake. Kirk Pruhs (U Pittsburgh) maintains a website on the history of the workshop.

Two postdocs join the Algorithms Group. 17/6 2022
We welcome Akbar Davoodi and Mehmet Aziz Yirik who join the Cheminformatics Group to work on the MATOMIC project. Akbar comes from a postdoc position at the Czech Academy of Sciences and Aziz finished his Ph.D. recently from the Friedrich-Schiller-University, Jena.
MATOMIC Kick-Off. 23/5 2022
The MATOMIC project - Mathematical Modelling for Microbial Community Induced Metabolic Diseases - is launched through kick-off meetings at the National Institute of Public Health in Copenhagen today, and at SDU tomorrow. This internationally-based center is funded by the Challenge Programme of the Novo Nordisk Foundation and is headed by our Cheminformatics group: Daniel Merkle, flanked by Jakob Lykke Andersen and Rolf Fagerberg.
Kevin Schewior speaks at the Workshop on New Challenges in Scheduling Theory. 18/5 2022
Kevin Schewior was invited to and attended the Workshop on New Challenges in Scheduling Theory in Aussois, France. The program committee consisted of Jacek Blazewicz (TU Poznan), Michael Bender (Stony Brook), Erwin Pesch (U Siegen), Kirk Pruhs (U Pittsburgh), Denis Trystam (Grenoble INP), and Guochan Zhang (Zhejiang U). The workshop had about 80 participants. A few of them attended online, but the vast majority attended on site. There were about 50 talks on the theory and practice of scheduling, many of which triggered refreshing in-person discussions during the ample time left free aside of the talks and during the cheese fondue. Kevin gave a talk about his recent work on Stochastic Probing with Increasing Precision.
The Online Algorithms Group invited to the Workshop on Algorithms with Predictions. 4/5 2022
Joan Boyar Lene Favrholdt, and Kim Skak Larsen were invited to the Workshop on Algorithms with Predictions, held at the Bernoulli Center for Fundamental Studies at EPFL in picturesque Lausanne, Switzerland. Joan and Lene gave a well-received invited talk together surveying Online Algorithms with Advice, and Kim was on the panel, together with Sid Banerjee (Cornell), Daniel Dadush (CWI), Anupam Gupta (Carnegie Mellon), and Seffi Naor (Technion), to discuss the current issues and priorities in this developing area. The workshop was very enjoyable with good talks and lots of time for networking and initiating research collaboration.
Kevin Schewior starts as Assistant Professor in the Algorithms Group. 1/5 2022
We are excited to welcome Kevin Schewior as assistant professor in the algorithms group. Kevin is interested in uncertainty, approximation algorithms, and algorithmic problems more generally. Kevin got his Ph.D. from the Faculty of Mathematics of Technische Universität Berlin in 2016. He has held postdoc positions in Germany but also in Santiago and Paris. We look forward to working with Kevin!
The group sends representatives to the DDC meeting. 5/4 2022
From our online algorithms group, Joan Boyar and Kim Skak Larsen joined the DDC meeting at Nyborg Strand Hotel, together with their Ph.D. student, Simon Skjernaa Erfurth. We enjoyed a well-planned and fruitful meeting, discussing the challenges that the Digital Democracy Center should undertake and the progress that has been made so far. The format of this 24 hour meeting, going from lunch to lunch, gave us the possibility of also interacting on a more social level in the evening, getting to know each other better.
Simon Erfurth starts as Ph.D. student. 1/1 2022
We are excited to welcome Simon Erfurth into our group as a Ph.D. student. Simon comes with an MS in mathematics with a master's project in cryptology. He will work on the inter-disciplinary project, Trust and News Authenticity, as part of the Digital Democracy Center (DDC). Due to the inter-disciplinary nature of the project, Simon has several advisors, Claes de Vreese, who is the head of DDC, and Joan Boyar, Kim Skak Larsen, and Ruben Niederhagen from IMADA.
DIREC Meeting at Nyborg Strand Hotel. 13/9 2021
After such a long time with corona lockdowns and online meetings, it was great to meet in person with the many Danish computer scientists and the excellent algorithms people in particular. From our algorithms group, Kim Skak Larsen, Joan Boyar, Lene Favrholdt, Jakob Lykke Andersen, and Rolf Fagerberg joined the DIREC meeting at picturesque Nyborg Strand Hotel. The first day, the primary focus was on research, while the second day contained discussions related to student recruitment and retainment, diversity, societal needs, start-up companies, funding, etc.
Faith Ellen's student wins best doctoral dissertation award. 5/7 2021
Faith Ellen's student, Leqi "Jimmy" Zhu, wins the Principles of Distributed Computing Doctoral Dissertation Award, 2021, shared with one other graduate, for his dissertation On the Space Complexity of Colourless Tasks. The award will be presented to Jimmy at PODC on July 27.

The committee writes:

Zhu's thesis establishes general memory lower bounds for both deterministic and randomized algorithms for a variety of basic synchronization tasks including consensus, k-set agreement, and ε-approximate agreement. These bounds hold under a weak liveness assumption—obstruction-freedom—making them very general. Among the results in the thesis one stands out. It provides a definitive solution to a classic and long-standing open problem in distributed computing: to determine the space complexity of consensus in asynchronous, shared-memory systems. Besides the significance of the result, the committee also appreciated its beautiful execution—a clean, textbook-quality proof. On the basis of this achievement the committee made its decision to assign the award to this excellent piece of work.
Daniel Merkle and the Algorithmic Cheminformatic group receive huge grant. 7/6 2021
Daniel Merkle, heading the Algorithmic Cheminformatic group, receives a grant of DKK 46.2 million from the Novo Nordisk Foundation Challenge Programme for the project Mathematical Modeling for Microbial Community Induced Metabolic Diseases (MATOMIC). This project will combine mathematical modelling and wet-lab experimentation to investigate how changing the composition of the microbiome can create a novel therapeutic tool for treating people with obesity.

Around 20 million of the grant goes to IMADA. The rest is shared by the project partners at the University of Leipzig, the University of Vienna, and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig.

Faith Ellen's student wins award. 8/4 2021
Faith Ellen's student, Leqi "Jimmy" Zhu, won the CS-Can|Info-Can Distinguished Dissertation Award, 2019, and has just given his talk in that connection.

In the talk, Jimmy discusses both his results without too many technical details and outlines his personal journey through his Ph.D. studies, pointing to people and circumstances of importance to him. Faith receives significant recognition of her rôle as his advisor.

Jimmy is now a postdoc at the University of Michigan.

David Hammer defends his dissertation. 27/11 2020
David Hammer defends his Ph.D. dissertation under a cotutelle agreement, which will give him a Ph.D. degree from SDU (with Rolf Fagerberg as his advisor) as well as Goethe-Universität (with Ulrich Meyer as his advisor). The assessment committee consisted of Rasmus Pagh (IT University of Copenhagen), Peter Sanders (Karlsruher Institut für Technologie), Norbert Zeh (Dalhousie University), and the local chair, Kim Skak Larsen.

David gave a very nice presentation, Kim says, giving a good overview while also higlighting some of the deeper technical details required to establish his results. Congratulations to David, and to Rolf for having educated yet another excellent researcher.

Daniel Merkle takes over as head of the algorithms group. 1/9 2020
Daniel Merkle takes over as head of the algorithms group from Kim Skak Larsen and enters into the department's management group at the same time. "Daniel will be a superb head of the group", Kim says, and continues: "I've known Daniel for more than 12 years, we share many of the same values, and I feel very comfortable with him leading this excellent research group."
Joan Boyar presents priority algorithms advice results at OLAWA. 28/9 2020
Results on priority algorithms with advice, coauthored by Joan Boyar and Kim Skak Larsen got very good coverage at OLAWA - Online Algorithms with Advice and Related Models, a virtual satelite workshop of MFCS - the 45th International Symposium on Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science. Joan gave the talk on the second part of the paper.
Jørgen Bang-Jensen gives a course to hundreds of Chinese students. 11/7 2020
Jørgen Bang-Jensen gave a 30 hour online course, followed by an exam, on directed graphs to more than 200 Chinese students at Shandong University. The course was very well received and has resulted in new collaborations, including a possible joint Ph.D. student.

For further information, see the local coverage at SDU, as well as the flattering feedback from Shandong.

Jørgen Bang-Jensen returning from sabbatical. 11/6 2020
Jørgen Bang-Jensen spend 4½ months on sabatical at INRIA Sophia Antipolis. Despite being locked down most of the time, due to Covid-19, he and his coauthors managed to produce 6 papers and lay the groundwork for a couple more.
The algorithms group receives two grants from FNU. 18/5 2020
The online algorithms group receives a grant from FNU for the project Online Algorithms with Machine Learning Predictors. The cheminformatics group receives a grant for the project Algorithmic Cheminformatics Meets Causality Analysis. We are excited to get started on these new directions of research.
Faith Ellen has been appointed Adjunct Professor. 1/4 2020
Starting April 1, 2020, Faith Ellen has been appointed Adjunct Professor at SDU, where she will be associated with the Algorithms Group.

Faith Ellen received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1982. Since 1995, she has been a full professor at the highly ranked Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto. Among numerous awards and prestigious chairing appointments, she became a Fellow of the ACM in 2014, a very prestigious recognition from the community.

She has a strong connection to the group, having visited several times over the last two decades, and has joint work with professors Joan Boyar and Kim S. Larsen.

We are delighted to welcome Faith Ellen into our group.