People of ACM European Chapters - Karel Richta

October 23, 2018

Can you briefly describe your own line of research and how you became interested in this area?

Over the years I have been involved in many areas of research, often working with teams. One such area that I am currently working on is using formal specification in software development. My main area of research is software engineering education. Primarily, this work stems from my perspective as a practitioner in higher education.

In your area of research, what recent advance/emerging subfield will yield important advances in the years ahead?

My research started with automatic synthesis of programs from a specification. I have been working with automated problem solving systems such as Stanford Research Institute Problem Solver (STRIPS). Gradually, we developed tools for formal or semi-formal specification of programs and began to work with Unified Modeling Language (UML) and Object Constraint Language (OCL). More recently, we have been studying the possibility of creating systems from specifications using Petri nets. In the near future, we plan to work on the development of specifications using algebraic tools (such as Maude). We are also planning an education research conference in 2019.

Will you tell us a little about the Czech Republic ACM Chapter?

CZ ACM was chartered in 1992 and today has 63 members: 25 students and 38 professionals. Although our scope encompasses the entire country, we are based in Prague. The chapter is organized and operated exclusively for educational and scientific purposes. The goals of the chapter include promoting an increased knowledge of and greater interest in the science, design, development, construction, languages, management and applications of modern computing, as well as providing a means of communication between people interested in computing.

Our recent activities inlcude organizing conferences, workshops and seminars, participation in the ACM Programming Contest, co-organizing a Student Project of the Year (IT SPY best diploma theses competition), participation with University of the 3rd Age (inlcudes university lectures for senior citizens, testing of technologies for older people, and the development of education materials for senior citizens), and cooperation with the British project MirandaNet (which fosters continuing professional development, education, innovation and research in information technology).

How is participation in the Czech Republic ACM Chapter beneficial to members?

For students, participation in the CZ ACM Chapter provides opportunities to work with accomplished peers on computer science projects and programming contests. Through the chapter, students also gain access to leading publications and are introduced to study abroad opportunities. For professionals, the CZ ACM Chapter is a platform for communication, networking and career enrichment.

Karel Richta is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Czech Technical University (Czech Republic), where he was the Chair of the Software Engineering Group. His research interests include software engineering using formal methods; knowledge representation and student learning; and real-time systems. Richta has co-authored conference papers and journal articles on topics including formal methods in software engineering and database systems.

Richta serves as Chair of the Czech Republic ACM Chapter (CZ ACM).