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George Boole Bicentenary Celebration Speakers

International Speakers


Kevin Boole, Australia

Kevin Boole was born in Australia in 1952 and grew up around Sydney, New South Wales. A retired Cartographer who first started with pen and ink on linen and contributed in the development of fully digital mapping production process. Through mapping developed an interest in many forms of history. Kevin researched and promoted the correct location of the FIRST constructed road to be built out of Sydney. This road to Bathurst constructed in 1814 is now acknowledged and preserved for future generations. Kevin also gained an interest in his family history research after questions like “are you related to George Boole”





Dr. Oren Etzioni, Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, USA

Dr. Oren Etzioni is Chief Executive Officer of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence. He has been a Professor at the University of Washington's Computer Science department starting in 1991, receiving several awards including GeekWire's Hire of the Year (2014), Seattle's Geek of the Year (2013), the Robert Engelmore Memorial Award (2007), the IJCAI

Distinguished Paper Award (2005), AAAI Fellow (2003), and a National Young Investigator Award (1993). He was also the founder or co-founder of several companies including Farecast (sold to Microsoft in 2008) and Decide (sold to eBay in 2013), and the author of over 100 technical papers that have garnered over 22,000 citations. The goal of Oren's research is to solve fundamental problems in AI, particularly the automatic learning of knowledge from text. Oren received his Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University in 1991, and his B.A. from Harvard in 1986.



Dr. Kenneth M. Ford, IHMC, Florida, USA

Kenneth Ford is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition (IHMC) — a not-for-profit research institute located in Pensacola, Florida. IHMC has grown into one of the nation’s premier research organizations with world-class scientists and engineers investigating a broad range of topics related to building technological systems aimed at amplifying and extending human cognitive and perceptual capacities. Richard Florida has described IHMC as “a new model for interdisciplinary research institutes that strive to be both entrepreneurial and academic, firmly grounded and inspiringly ambitious.” IHMC headquarters are in Pensacola with a branch research facility in Ocala, Florida. In 2004 Florida Trend Magazine named Dr. Ford one of Florida’s four most influential citizens working in academia.

Dr. Ford is the author of hundreds of scientific papers and six books. Dr. Ford’s research interests include: artificial intelligence, cognitive science, human-centered computing, and entrepreneurship in government and academia. Dr. Ford received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Tulane University. He is Emeritus Editor-in-Chief of AAAI/MIT Press and has been involved in the editing of several journals. Ford is a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), a charter Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, a member of the Association for Computing Machinery, a member of the IEEE Computer Society, and a member of the National Association of Scholars. Ford has received many awards and honors including the Doctor Honoris Causas from the University of Bordeaux in 2005 and the 2008 Robert S. Englemore Memorial Award for his work in artificial intelligence (AI). In 2012 Tulane University named Ford its Outstanding Alumnus in the School of Science and Engineering. Earlier this year, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence named Dr. Ford the recipient of the 2015 Distinguished Service Award.

In January 1997, Dr. Ford was asked by NASA to develop and direct its new Center of Excellence in Information Technology at the Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley. He served as Associate Center Director and Director of NASA’s Center of Excellence in Information Technology. In July 1999, Dr. Ford was awarded the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal. That same year, Ford returned to private life and to the IHMC.

In October of 2002, President George W. Bush nominated Dr. Ford to serve on the National Science Board (NSB) and the United States Senate confirmed his nomination in March of 2003. The NSB is the governing board of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and plays an important role in advising the President and Congress on science policy issues. In 2005, Dr. Ford was appointed and sworn in as a member of the Air Force Science Advisory Board.

In 2007, he became a member of the NASA Advisory Council and on October 16, 2008, Dr. Ford was named as Chairman – a capacity in which he served until October 2011. In August 2010, Dr. Ford was awarded NASA’s Distinguished Public Service Medal – the highest honor the agency confers. In February of 2012, Dr. Ford was named to a two-year term on the Defense Science Board (DSB).



Professor Geoffrey Everest Hinton, FRS, University of Toronto and Google

Geoffrey Hinton received his PhD in Artificial Intelligence from Edinburgh in 1978 and spent five years as a faculty member at Carnegie-Mellon where he pioneered back-propagation, Boltzmann machines and distributed representations of words. In 1987 he became a fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and moved to the University of Toronto. In 1998 he founded the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit at University College London, returning to the University of Toronto in 2001. His group at the University of Toronto then developed deep learning and used it to change the way speech recognition and object recognition are done. He currently splits his time between the University of Toronto and Google. He is a fellow of the Royal Society and his awards include the Rumelhart Prize, the IJCAI Research Excellence Award and the NSERC Herzberg Gold Medal, Canada's top award in Science and Engineering.




Professor John Hooker, Tepper Business School, CMU

John Hooker is Professor of Operations Research and T. Jerome Holleran Professor of Business Ethics and Social Responsibility at Carnegie Mellon University.  He joined the Tepper School of Business at CMU in 1984 and has since held several visiting posts, most recently at the London School of Economics and the State University of Campinas, Brazil.  He holds doctoral degrees in philosophy and operations research.

Professor Hooker has published 150 articles, 6 books, and 5 edited volumes.  He is an INFORMS Fellow and recipient of the INFORMS Computing Society Prize.  He has served on several editorial boards, including two decades as an area editor for INFORMS Journal on Computing, and was elected chair of the INFORMS Computing Society.  He is equally active in the constraint programming community, having served as conference and workshop organizer, as well as member of numerous conference program and award committees.  He was elected to the Executive Committee of the Association for Constraint Programming and received the association's Best Paper Award.

He is a pioneer in the integration of optimization and constraint programming technologies, having written the first book and co-chaired the first conference on the subject.  OR/CP integration is now an active research field and is comprehensively surveyed in his book Integrated Methods for Optimization (2nd edition).  The book develops a conceptual basis for unifying problem-solving techniques in mixed integer programming, constraint programming, global optimization, and heuristic methods.  OR/CP integration is the basis for leading software packages like IBM's OPL Studio and the popular award-winning solver SCIP.

Professor Hooker also introduced logic-based Benders decomposition, which is based on a concept of inference duality.  It can reduce solution times by orders of magnitude and has found a wide variety of applications.  More recently, he and T. Hadžić adapted decision diagrams to optimization, and several investigators are now pursuing this line of research.  It uses dynamic programming formulations that were previously impractical and has the potential to solve very large problems that are beyond the capacity of existing state-of-the-art solvers.

Professor Hooker also has interests in business ethics and cross-cultural management, as reflected in his books Business Ethics as Rational Choice and Working across Cultures.  He is founding editor-in-chief of the Journal of Business Ethics Education and co-organized four conferences on international corporate responsibility.  He has lived and worked in Australia, Brazil, China, Denmark, India, Qatar, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Zimbabwe, and has extensive experience in Germany and Mexico.  

Professor Hooker received a Distinguished Academic Leadership Award in 2001 for his leadership and reorganization of the Tepper School's undergraduate business administration program. He was recognized with an Award for Sustained Teaching Excellence in 2009.  




Professor Robert Kowalski, Imperial College London

Robert Kowalski is Emeritus Professor and Distinguished Research Fellow at Imperial College London. He studied at the University of Chicago, the University of Bridgeport, Stanford University, the University of Warsaw, and the University of Edinburgh, where he completed his PhD in 1970. He joined Imperial College in 1975, becoming Professor Emeritus in 1999.

During the 1980s, Kowalski was heavily involved in the British response to the Japanese Fifth Generation Project. He also served as an advisor to the UNDP Knowledge Based Systems Project in India, and to DFKI, the German Institute for Artificial Intelligence. He co-ordinated the European Community Basic Research Project, Compulog, and was the founder of the European Compulog Network of Excellence. More recently he has been an advisor to the Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals, of the World Health Organization in Geneva.

His early research was in the field of automated theorem-proving, leading to the development of logic programming in the early 1970s. His later research has focused on the use of logic programming for knowledge representation and problem solving, including work on the event calculus, legal reasoning, abductive reasoning and argumentation. His current work is aimed at developing a unified, logic-based framework for artificial intelligence, databases and programming. The philosophical background for this work is presented in his 2011 book Computational Logic and Human Thinking – How to be Artificially Intelligent.

Kowalski is a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, the European Co-ordinating Committee for Artificial Intelligence, and the Association for Computing Machinery. He received the IJCAI (International Joint Conference of Artificial Intelligence) award for Research Excellence in 2011, and the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science Award for Eminent Scientists for 2012-2014.




Professor Francesca Rossi, University of Padova, Italy

Francesca Rossi is a professor of computer science at the University of Padova, Italy. Currently she is on sabbatical at Harvard with a fellowship of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studiy. Her research interests include: constraint reasoning, preferences, multi-agent systems, computational social choice and artificial intelligence. She has been president of the international association for constraint programming (ACP) and is now the president of IJCAI. She has been program chair of CP 2003 and of IJCAI 2013. She is on the editorial board of Constraints, Artificial Intelligence, AMAI and KAIS, and is Associate Editor in Chief of JAIR. She has published over 160 articles in international journals, proceedings of international conferences or workshops, and as book chapters. She has co-authored a book, edited 16 volumes of conference proceedings, collections of contributions, and special issue of international journals, and has co-edited the Handbook of Constraint Programming.



Professor Dana S. Scott, Carnegie Mellon University, USA

Dana Stewart Scott,  (born October 11, 1932, Berkeley, California, U.S.), American mathematician, logician, and computer scientist and cowinner of the 1976 A.M. Turing Award, the highest honour in computer science. Scott and the Israeli American mathematician and computer scientist Michael O. Rabin were cited in the award for their early joint paper “Finite Automata and Their Decision Problem,” which introduced the idea of nondeterministic machines to the field of automata theory, and for their subsequent independent work.

Scott earned a bachelor’s degree (1954) in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley, and a doctorate (1958) in mathematics from Princeton University. He began his academic career at the University of Chicago (1958–60), followed by the University of California, Berkeley (1960–63), Stanford University (1963–69), Princeton University (1969–72), the University of Oxford (1972–81), and finally Carnegie Mellon University (1981–2003), where from 1982 he was the Hillman University Professor of Mathematical Logic, Computer Science, and Philosophy. Now emeritus, Scott resides with his wife in Berkeley.

Scott’s last position, at Carnegie Mellon, gives some inkling of the remarkable diversity of his academic interests. In addition to contributing his seminal work on automata theory, Scott collaborated in the 1970s with the British computer scientist Christopher Strachey to lay the foundations of the mathematical (or denotational) semantics of computer programming languages. The outgrowth of that work led to Scott’s introduction of domain theory, providing, in particular, mathematical models for the λ-calculus, or lambda calculus (a formal mathematical-logical system invented in 1936 by the American logician Alonzo Church), and many other related theories. Scott was the first editor in chief of Logical Methods in Computer Science, an online open-access journal founded in 2005.

Scott was elected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. His awards include the 1972 LeRoy P. Steele Prize from the American Mathematical Society, the 1997 Rolf Shock Prize in Logic and Philosophy from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and the 2009 Gold Medal from the Russian Academy of Sciences.



Professor Michael Wooldridge, University of Oxford, UK

Professor Woolridge is Head of Department and Professor of Computer Science in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Oxford, and a Senior Research Fellow at Hertford College. In October 2011, He was awarded a 5-year ERC Advanced Grant, entitled "Reasoning About Computational Economies" (RACE). He is a AAAI Fellow, an ECCAI Fellow, an AISB Fellow, and a BCS Fellow. In 2006, he was the recipient of the ACM Autonomous Agents Research Award. In 1997, he founded AgentLink, the EC-funded European Network of Excellence in the area of agent-based computing. HeI was program chair for the 19th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence (ECAI-2010), held in Lisbon, Portugal, in August 2010. He will be General Chair for the 24th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-2015), to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Between 2003 and 2009 he was co-editor-in-chief of the Journal Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems. He is an associate editor of the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research (JAIR) (2006-2009, 2009-2012), an associate editor of Artificial Intelligence journal (2009-2012) and serve on the editorial boards of the Journal of Applied Logic, Journal of Logic and Computation, Journal of Applied Artificial Intelligence, and Computational Intelligence.





UCC Speakers


Dr. Michael Murphy, President, UCC

Dr. Michael Murphy became the 14th President of University College Cork in 2007. A 1976 graduate of UCC’s Medical School, he undertook postgraduate training in Medicine at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin and in Clinical Pharmacology at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School (now Imperial College of Medicine) London. Following 8 years on the faculty of the University of Chicago, he returned to Cork as a Professor of Clinical Pharmacology and Head of the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics in 1992. He was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health in 2000. Dr. Murphy has published extensively on pharmacological prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease and has been principal investigator on several large international clinical trials. 





Professor Barry O’Sullivan, Computer Science, UCC

Professor Barry O'Sullivan is Director of Insight at University College Cork and leads the centre's research group on optimisation and decision analytics. He is a Full Professor (Chair of Constraint Programming) in the Department of Computer Science at University College Cork. He became Head of Department, Computer Science, in September 2012. Professor O'Sullivan has been a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Principal Investigator since 2006. He was listed amongst the “10 Rising Stars” of Irish Science by Science Foundation Ireland in their 2010 anniversary publication entitled “Celebrating 10 Years of Discovery”; he was the only computer scientist so recognized. He was elected a Fellow of ECCAI, the European Coordinating Committee for Artificial Intelligence, and a Senior Member of AAAI, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, in 2012. He is first Irish person to receive the latter recognition, and only the second European. Professor O’Sullivan was President of the International Association for Constraint Programming from 2007-2012; he is the current Chair of the Artificial Intelligence Association of Ireland; coordinator of the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) Working Group on Constraints; and Council Member of the Analytics Society of Ireland, which is a member of the International Federation Of Operational Research Societies (IFORS). In 2010 he was honoured by being the first Irish scientist to give an Invited Talk at AAAI, the conference of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. In 2013 he received a UCC Leadership Award. Professor O’Sullivan has been involved in winning €140 million in research funding, of which approximately €25 million has been directly his. He was Program Chair of the 2014 International Conference on the Principles and Practice of Constraint Programming, and co-Program Chair of the Prestigious Application of Intelligent Systems Track at the 2014 European Conference on Artificial Intelligence. He serves on the editorial boards of Constraints: An International Journal and the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research (JAIR). Professor O’Sullivan is the author of approximately 250 peer-reviewed publications, and has chaired over two dozen international research meetings. His research focuses on artificial intelligence, constraint programming, optimisation, and decision analytics, as well as the applications of these areas.



Professor Eugene C. Freuder, Emeritus Professor, Computer Science, UCC

Eugene Freuder is an emeritus professor at University College Cork. He founded the Cork Constraint Computation Centre, one of the precursors of the Insight Centre for Data Analytics. Professor Freuder received his B.A. from Harvard, and his Ph.D. from MIT. He is a Member of the Royal Irish Academy, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, and the European Coordinating Committee for Artificial Intelligence. He was the founding Editor-in-Chief of the Constraints journal and has received both the Research Excellence Award and the Distinguished Service Award of the Association for Constraint Programming.





Olivia Frawley, Project Manager, George Boole Family History Project, UCC

Olivia is a member of UCC International Education Office where she provides the Internationalisation Strategy Support. A native of Cork, she is a graduate in Business Studies (Management) 2006, with distinction, receiving the Best Student Award medals (2005 and 2006) as a mature student. Olivia has worked in Tyndall National Institute; UCC Computer Science; UCC College Office of Science, Engineering and Food Science (SEFS) and UCC Centre for Global Development. In private industry she has extensive experience as a Property Claims Handler, Underwriter and Finance Officer in the insurance industry in Ireland. As part of the George Boole Family History Project, Olivia edited the George Boole*Chronicles (published in March) which was a Finalist in the US-based International Book Awards in May of this year. She also edited the George Boole audio-visual display which forms part of UCC Boole Library’s Exhibition “The Life and Legacy of George Boole”.

As part of the George Boole 200 celebrations, Olivia also acts in support of the University’s official contacts with the extended Boole family worldwide.

Professor Des MacHale, Emeritus Professor, Mathematics, UCC

Desmond "Des" MacHale is Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at University College Cork, Ireland. He gained degrees at University College Galway and the University of Keele. MacHale is a prolific author on various subjects, most notably humour. He has written twenty books of lateral thinking problems with author Paul Sloane. He speaks on mathematics, humour and puzzles. His biography on George Boole is regarded as the best biographical work on the famous mathematician. Des is a native of Castlebar, County Mayo.







Colette McKenna, Director of Library Services, UCC

Colette McKenna’s career in the library professions has been within university libraries.  She  has held a varied range of role and was University Librarian in Ulster University.  Colette took up post as Director of Library Service in University College Cork in 2013. Colette serves on a wide range of committees, both internal and external to the university.  She is the current chair of the RIAN Board and the Irish Universities Association Librarians’ Group (IUALG). Colette’s professional interests are research support services, open access and reaching out to user communities by facilitating access to our unique and distinct collections.






Crónán Ó Doibhlin, Boole Library, UCC

Crónán Ó Doibhlin is the Head of Research Head of Research Collections & Communications at UCC Library, where he is a member of UCC Library’s Senior Management Team and the Information Services Management Team at UCC.  His current core responsibilities relate to leading the development, organisation and management of Special Collections and Archives at UCC, the development of Digital Projects, Institutional Repository services, Exhibitions, and Communications including External Relations, and supporting the University Librarian in his work with the Alumni Development Office, and Collection Acquisition.

He has also represented UCC Library on a number of national committees including CONUL Committees for Collaborative Storage and Collection Management, and currently serves on the CONUL Digital Services and Infrastructure Sub-Committee.



Mark Poland, Buildings & Estates, UCC

Mark Poland is a chartered civil engineer and Fellow of Engineers Ireland. He is a graduate of University College Cork and has experience in Ireland and the United Kingdom as a consulting engineer and project manager on commercial and industrial projects. He is currently Director of Buildings & Estates at UCC and leads a team of professionals involved in the management of the University’s estate. The University is going through an ambitious €400m. capital development programme with a wide range of exciting academic and support facilities.  UCC was the first University in the world to be awarded the Green Flag by FEE and the first University to achieve ISO 50,001.






Professor Michel Schellekens, Computer Science, UCC

Prof. Schellekens obtained his MSc in pure mathematics from the Free University of Brussels, followed the DEA de Logique et Informatique at the University of Paris 7, and obtained a PhD in Pure and Applied Logic (mathematics department) from Carnegie Mellon University under guidance of Stephen Brookes and Dana Scott. His CMU thesis focused on the theory of complexity spaces, developing semantic models capable of capturing execution-cost. His research program consistently focuses on establishing a foundation for modular cost analysis, complemented by a drive to combine theory and practice. He leads the research centre CEOL (Centre for Efficiency-Oriented Languages,

His work, involving logic/topology and domain theory (areas discussed in the Handbook of Logic in Computer Science), focuses on semantic models reflecting the cost of computation in a modular way. In basic terms: the cost of running code is obtained by summing the cost of running the basic parts. This work focuses on the modular derivation of average-case and worst-case analysis, but also power analysis, while his most recent preprints involve a new modular derivation of the smoothed complexity measure proposed by Dan Spielman--a hybrid between worst and average case analysis capable of capturing the sparsity of a worst-case occurence.

Following his graduation, he joined Imperial College London as an EC Marie Curie Fellow Post Doc. He held a Post Doc position at the University of Siegen and joined the Department of Computer Science at National University of Ireland, Cork where he currently is a Professor. He held a visiting research professorship at the University of Paris 7 and is a DAAD award recipient, including a stay at Schloss Dagstuhl.




National Speakers


Sorcha Coleman, City Architect’s Department, Cork City Council

Sorcha Coleman joined the City Architects as a graduate architect in 2013, and has been involved in the conservation  works at the Lord Mayor’s Pavilion, the North Monastery and the National Monument, as well new build projects such as Hollyhill Library.







Professor Mark Keane, Computer Science, UCD

Prof. Mark Keane is the Chair of Computer Science at University College Dublin (since 1998). From 2004-2007 he was Director of ICT (2004-2006) and Director General (2006-2007) at Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) where he oversaw a 700M+ euro research investment. He advised the Irish Government on its 3.7B euro Strategy for Science, Technology & Innovation (SSTI). He was also VP of Innovation & Partnerships at UCD (2007-2009). He has a BA (UCD) and PhD (TCD) in Cognitive Psychology and previously worked in University of London, the Open University, Cardiff University and Trinity College Dublin (FTCD, 1994). Prof. Keane has published 160+ articles and books, attracting over 8,000 Google Scholar citations; his highest cited work, at 2,600 citations, is Cognitive Psychology: A Student’s Handbook (2015, 7th Edition; co-author M. Eysenck).  




Bill Liao, Coderdojo

Bill Liao is an Australian entrepreneur. He is a venture partner with SOSventures and listed as an influential investor on Twitter. Liao is a social networking pioneer, author, speaker, and is engaged in not for profit work. Among his non-profit endeavours he is a CoderDojo mentor and he has participated as an investor and volunteer in The Hunger Project in Uganda, New York and Mexico. He has also been appointed as a special diplomatic envoy for St Kitts and Nevis for sustainable development and the environment. Liao has contributed to the St Kitts and Nevis recovery fund for the sugar cane industry there. He is also a regular attendee at the TED conferences and also the World Economic Forum New Champions conference. Liao was also the Director of Operations (DOO) of telecommunications company Davnet, which achieved the fastest capital value growth in the history of the Australian Stock exchange and which aggregated Internet access in the riser space[11] of office buildings. Davnet was acquired by Japanese telecommunications carrier Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) in 1996. Liao left Davnet after the acquisition and he turning his attention to other IT endeavours. He was the first external investor in, then called, which was founded by Lars Hinrichs in Germany in 2003. Later, Liao became a supervisory board member.

In 2009, he founded, an organisation promoting reforestation as a way to combat global warming. continues, with a stated goal of planting two trillion trees by 2020 and is run from Belgium by its current CEO Marie-Noelle Keijzer. Liao is still involved with WeForest and spoke at TED Long Beach 2011 about it. He was an official part of the delegation of St Kitts and Nevis to the COP15 UN climate change summit in Copenhagen where he also promoted the science and concepts behind

In 2011, Liao joined SOSVentures as their European Venture Partner specialising in Internet and social media. He has invested in Mark Little's Storyful venture, Silicon Republic. and MavenHut.

Bill Liao and James Whelton founded CoderDojo, a not-for-profit organisation that teaches children how to code. It aims to teach children creative problem-solving skills and practical creative skills and was launched in Ireland in mid-2011. Liao and Whelton also hope to provide an outlet for children who know how to code to meet other children with similar interests and work on projects in an environment with their peers, similar to a co-working space but less formal.


Neil Purkiss, City Architect’s Department, Cork City Council

Neil Purkiss is a Senior Executive Architect in the City Architect’s Department, Cork City Council. Over the 16 years he has been in Cork, his projects have included the restoration of Cork County and City Courthouse, the Lord Mayor’s Pavilion and the red brick buildings of the North Monastery School (now Cork Academy of Music). More recent projects have included the restoration of Shandon Clock, the National Monument on Grand Parade and Father Mathew statue.