Ugo Montanari and Friends
Last, but by no means least... This section covers the most important facet of Ugo’s personality, namely, his tireless efforts in building national and international relationships, in order to foster the advance of research. Indeed, a large part of Ugo’s time is spent in casting a web of links among people as well as institutions, fostering research collaborations and exchanges of ideas. A facet of his personality Ugo is aware of, as he witnesses in his recent book-interview .
Consider e.g. the first three contributions of this section, and let us start chauvinistically with the Italian colleague, Angelo Raffaele Meo. Ugo often talks about those five years “lost to his research”, where he actively contributed to the shaping of the governmental guidelines for ITC. In the late Seventies, Meo was the chair of the National Program in Computer Sciences for the National Research Council (CNR); Ugo headed one of the three sections of that Program, devoted to Computer Industry. The major subproject of the Program was Campus Net (CNet) Project, lead by Norma Lijtmaer and running from 1979 to 1985. Ugo, Norma and Meo were the driving force behind CNet: the project represented a major focus for Italian ITC, maybe one of the most influential and ambitious among those projects combined into the first Progetto Finalizzato in Informatica sponsored by CNR. Research issues focused on developing the functional specification and implementing prototype versions of distributed systems on local networks. The technical accomplishments were initially spread in a series of technical reports, and the main achievements were collected in a two-volume proceedings of the final symposium , held in Pisa in June 24-28, 1985. The presence of a large group of industrial partners, among them Olivetti, had consequences far beyond the scientific assessments of the projects itself, in a booming period for the national industry. Moreover, the project was likely the defining moment for Ugo’s interests in concurrency, and one of the key steps in the rise of the whole area in Italy. Some of the outcomes of the project (such as , originally a CNet technical report) were later considered pivotal by key people like Robin Milner in the development of nominal calculi. The topic tackled by Meo in his article is maybe far from Ugo’s current interests. Nevertheless, let us not forget that Ugo was the coauthor of the first Italian textbook on formal languages and computability .
KeywordsFormal Language Monoidal Category Industrial Partner Computer Industry Late Seventy
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