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October 2, 2018

Applied Category Theory 2019

Posted by John Baez

I’m helping organize ACT 2019, an applied category theory conference and school at Oxford, July 15-26, 2019. Here’s a ‘pre-announcement’.

More details will come later, but here’s some good news: it’s right after the big annual worldwide category theory conference, which is in Edinburgh in 2019. So, conference-hopping category theorists can attend both!

Dear all,

As part of a new growing community in Applied Category Theory, now with a dedicated journal Compositionality, a traveling workshop series SYCO, a forthcoming Cambridge U. Press book series Reasoning with Categories, and several one-off events including at NIST, we launch an annual conference+school series named Applied Category Theory, the coming one being at Oxford, July 15-19 for the conference, and July 22-26 for the school. The dates are chosen such that CT 2019 (Edinburgh) and the ACT 2019 conference (Oxford) will be back-to-back, for those wishing to participate in both.

There already was a successful invitation-only pilot, ACT 2018, last year at the Lorentz Centre in Leiden, also in the format of school+workshop.

For the conference, for those who are familiar with the successful QPL conference series, we will follow a very similar format for the ACT conference. This means that we will accept both new papers which then will be published in a proceedings volume (most likely a Compositionality special Proceedings issue), as well as shorter abstracts of papers published elsewhere. There will be a thorough selection process, as typical in computer science conferences. The idea is that all the best work in applied category theory will be presented at the conference, and that acceptance is something that means something, just like in CS conferences. This is particularly important for young people as it will help them with their careers.

Expect a call for submissions soon, and start preparing your papers now!

The school in ACT 2018 was unique in that small groups of students worked closely with an experienced researcher (these were John Baez, Aleks Kissinger, Martha Lewis and Pawel Sobociński), and each group ended up producing a paper. We will continue with this format or a closely related one, with Jules Hedges and Daniel Cicala as organisers this year. As there were 80 applications last year for 16 slots, we may want to try to find a way to involve more students.

We are fortunate to have a number of private sector companies closely associated in some way or another, who will also participate, with Cambridge Quantum Computing Inc. and StateBox having already made major financial/logistic contributions.

On behalf of the ACT Steering Committee,

John Baez, Bob Coecke, David Spivak, Christina Vasilakopoulou

Posted at October 2, 2018 5:00 PM UTC

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Re: Applied Category Theory 2019

Thanks for this, I am looking forward to it.

Edinburgh is still a fair distance from Oxford. If it would be possible to actually co-locate with the CT conference at some future iteration, I think that would be really great. The two communities have so much to learn from one another.

(When I say “two communities” I don’t mean to imply that they are disjoint, nor that they should be. And I do realize that co-location is not as easy as it sounds, in part from having helped to organize this kind of thing in the past.)

Posted by: Sam Staton on October 3, 2018 9:39 AM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Applied Category Theory 2019

Yeah, it’s actually a really lucky chance that we’ve got two closely related conferences in nearby locations in consecutive weeks. We did do some coordination in the last week or so in order to make them consecutive, but it was sheer good luck that this was achievable. And as you can imagine, we started funding applications for Category Theory 2019 many months ago; on the other hand, we didn’t know ACT was happening until very recently. Probably the same is true the other way round.

So, the whole thing should be counted as a fantastic stroke of luck.

While it’s true that Edinburgh and Oxford are not next door, it’s still a train trip one can do in a day, and anyone attending both conferences will easily have time to do it. Plus, Oxford and Edinburgh are two of Britain’s most attractive, visually enticing cities!

Posted by: Tom Leinster on October 3, 2018 11:26 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Applied Category Theory 2019

Christina Vasilikopoulou was instrumental in convincing the other ACT organizers that it would be good to have this conference shortly after CT, and then we coordinated with the CT organizers to make this happen.

In the future we could in theory do even better. The problem is getting people willing to host a conference in the same city.

And as you can imagine, we started funding applications for Category Theory 2019 many months ago…

Alas this is not the case for ACT2019, so I’m still nervous that things won’t completely fall into place.

Posted by: John Baez on October 4, 2018 9:02 AM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Applied Category Theory 2019

There is always a way to make things fall into place…

Posted by: bob on October 4, 2018 12:45 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Applied Category Theory 2019

Thanks everyone for making it line up like this. As Tom says, Edinburgh -> Oxford is a pleasant train journey, or a short flight, and both cities are very well worth visiting.

Posted by: Sam Staton on October 4, 2018 10:57 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Applied Category Theory 2019

I am excited. It will be nice

Posted by: Dery on October 13, 2018 12:16 AM | Permalink | Reply to this

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