Adventures in searchland


Date Thursday July 30th 2009
Time 4:00-5:00pm
Venue George E. Pake Auditorium, PARC

PARC Forum

Last year I left PARC after almost nine years in residence, to join Cuil, a  start up company then in stealth mode. Three months later, Cuil launched with a  lot of buzz and a product that is innovative to the hilt. This was the beginning of an exciting (and bumpy) journey over the unchartered territory of Searchland, part of the larger and (to me) still mysterious continent of StartUpLand.  In this talk I will discuss this journey and highlights so far.


Valeria de Paiva's research is  concerned with logical methods in Computer Science. Specifically with the study of logical proofs by means of algebraic and categorical tools. Her PhD work, at the Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics of the University of Cambridge, UK, under the supervision of Prof. Martin Hyland, was on categorical models of Linear Logic, the Dialectica categories. By uncovering a relationship between Girard’s Linear Logic, then incipient, and Gödel’s celebrated “Dialectica Interpretation”, one of the fundamental tools of proof theory, the work helped to publicize the virtues of Linear Logic amongst mathematicians. She then worked  in the Computer Laboratory in Cambridge, in different projects, ranging from interactive theorem proving to lexical semantics. In 1996 she became a Lecturer (Assistant Professor in US terminology) at the University of Birmingham, where she helped Professor Achim Jung establish the  School of  Computer Science as a interdisciplinary theoretical computer science research centre.

In 1999 she moved to California, and after a visiting fellowship, started working for (Xerox) PARC, in the  Systems and Practices Lab, on logics of context for knowledge representation systems. After almost nine years, she left PARC in May 2008 to join  Cuil, a start-up company building a new search engine.

She's  on of the editorial boards  of the journals TAC (Theory and Applications of Categories),  Logical Methods in Computer Science and Logica Universalis, as well as the  Springer-Verlag FoLLI Publications on Logic, Language and Information. She's  an Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham, UK.


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