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IMFD Deputy Director on his role as chair of the 22 ICDT: “It was an honor to be selected by my colleagues”

There are certain conferences in the area of computer science that are worldwide renown and have more visibility and, therefore, attract more research articles from different latitudes.

In the area of database theory, one of the most relevant is the International Conference on Database Theory (ICDT), which is held annually in a European city and this year took place in Lisbon, Portugal, between March 26th to March 28th.

Pablo Barceló, Deputy Director of the Millennium Institute Foundational Research on Data (IMFD) and full professor of the Department of Computer Science of the University of Chile, served as conference chair of the 22 version of the ICDT.

Scientists from all over the world sent their papers to apply for this conference. There is a Program Committee formed by 22 scientists from the area–a sort of curators–in charge of the selection of the papers that will be presented at the conference and the definition of the final program”, explains Pablo Barceló.

Each year, a chair is appointed: he or she is the person in charge of the definition and coordination of the program committee, establish the guidelines and has the final word about the selected papers.

“It is a tremendous honor to has been chosen to be chair of one of these conferences. It is a one in a lifetime opportunity, it only happens once per conference, and I prepared my work for this conference for two years. If you check the previous chairs, they are all leaders in this research field. Therefore, to be selected for the role is not only a recognition of the scientific work but also a reward for how much one has cooperated within the scientific community in the field by helping to create networks”, adds the researcher.

Barceló tried to set a different tone for this 22 version of the ICDT: for instance, he promoted that not only theory papers would be accepted, but also articles related to new topics, that had the potential for novel applications (such as machine learning), or were relevant for the industry.

The award-winning paper–the Best Paper Award–was an article of the University of Oxford (United Kingdom), on algorithms for the efficient evaluation of database queries.

Due to his role as conference chair of the ICDT, Pablo Barceló will be part of the ICDT Council, the organizing committee of the competition, for the next three years. This committee is also in charge of the definition of the next chairs.

For more information about ICDT, please, visit http://edbticdt2019.inesc-id.pt

Pablo Barceló intentó darle un perfil distinto a esta versión de la ICDT: que no sólo se aceptaran papers teóricos, sino también artículos que hablaran sobre temas nuevos o con impacto para aplicaciones novedosas (como machine learning), o temas relevantes para la industria.
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