ALGO Algorithms for everyone at ITU

From 7 September to 11 September 2009, ITU hosts ALGO 2009, the largest European algorithms conference. The invited talks on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday mornings, from 9AM to 10AM, are open to employees and students at ITU.

“Algorithms are everywhere today, not just in your car navigation system or your web search engine,” says organizer Thore Husfeldt. “Algorithmic thinking has become as important outside of computer science as inside. Modern biology is an example that everybody knows about, but the algorithmic lens is useful in many other areas as well.

“Since we’re hosting ALGO at ITU, we’ve tried to attract keynote speakers that have something to say about each corner of ITU’s triangle.”


On Monday, Michael Mitzenmacher from Harvard University talks about open problems in cuckoo hashing. Cuckoo hashing is a fundamental data structure that was discovered by ITU’s Rasmus Pagh, and many ITU students have been exposed to it. Mitzenmacher is a leading expert on randomness in computation and known for his ability to apply techniques from algorithmics to make strong impact on other fields such as network communication protocols, and coding theory.

Michael’s blog: My Biased Coin

The Arts

On Tuesday, Erik Demaine from MIT talks about algorithms in arts, puzzles, and stage magic. Among his many research activities is computational origami, and his creations are on permanent exhibition at the New York Museum of Modern Art. Demaine is a MacArthur Fellow, started university as a 12-year old, go this Ph.D. at age 16, and was the youngest ever professor in the history of MIT.

Erik’s webpage:


On Wednesday, Noam Nisan talks about Google’s auctions for TV advertising. Algorithmic thinking has transformed many areas of economics such as game theory, a highly visible application is the auction-based pricing mechanism that Google uses to place advertisements on its search results page. Nisan, on of the world’s leading researchers in computational complexity, is on leave from Hebrew University of Jerusalem and works at Google Tel Aviv.

Noam’s blog: Algorithmic Game Theory

See the full programme at

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