Short Biography


Joël Ouaknine is a Scientific Director at the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems in Saarbrücken, Germany, where he leads the Foundations of Algorithmic Verification group. He also holds secondary appointments at Oxford University and Saarland University. His research interests span a range of topics broadly connected to algorithmic verification and theoretical computer science. His group's recent focus has been on decision, control, and synthesis problems for linear dynamical systems (both continuous and discrete), making use among others of tools from number theory, Diophantine geometry, and real algebraic geometry. Other interests include the algorithmic analysis of real-time, probabilistic, and infinite-state systems (e.g. model-checking algorithms, synthesis problems, complexity), logic and applications to verification, automated software analysis, and concurrency.

Prior to joining MPI-SWS, Joël worked as an academic in the Computer Science Department at Oxford University from 2004 to 2016, becoming Full Professor in 2010. He earned a BSc and MSc in Mathematics from McGill University, and received his PhD in Computer Science from Oxford in 2001. He subsequently did postdoctoral work at Tulane University and Carnegie Mellon University, and has held visiting professorships at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan, France. In both 2007 and 2008 he received an Outstanding Teaching Award from Oxford University, and the following year he was awarded an EPSRC Leadership Fellowship, enabling him to focus (almost) exclusively on research for a period of five years. He is the recipient of the 2010 Roger Needham Award, given annually "for a distinguished research contribution in Computer Science by a UK-based researcher within ten years of his or her PhD", and in 2015 was awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant to carry out research in dynamical systems.
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