Researcher Matteo Mio, who is currently hosted at CWI in the Formal Methods group as an ERCIM postdoctoral fellow, received the 2013 Ackermann Award for his PhD thesis 'Game Semantics for Probabilistic mu-Calculi'. He obtained his PhD degree at the University of Edinburgh in 2012 under the supervision of Prof. Alex Simpson. The Ackermann Award is the 'Outstanding Dissertation Award for Logic in Computer Science' of the European Association for Computer Science Logic (EACSL). The award was presented in a ceremony during the 22nd EACSL Annual Conference on Computer Science Logic, Torino, Italy, which took place on 2-5 September 2013 (CSL’13).
The jury wrote in its laudatio: "His thesis builds an extension of the modal μ-calculus suitable for reasoning about non-deterministic probabilistic systems. It advances previous approaches, and adds a quantitative dimension to the game semantics of fixed-point logics, via a novel concept of a tree game, integrating randomness and concurrency. (...) The modal μ-calculus lies at the very heart of logics and algorithms for computer-aided verification: it provides a powerful framework for comparing specification formalisms and devising model-checking algorithms for discrete dynamical systems, such as hardware and software systems". (...) "The resulting field of 'probabilistic verification' has received much attention in the past two decades (...). Yet the field still lacks a convincing canonical and foundational framework for specifying and comparing probabilistic properties. The thesis by Mio presents a promising step in this direction".
The Jury for the Ackermann Award 2013 consisted of eight members, amongst whom Anuj Dawar (University of Cambridge), the president of EACSL.