From 25 until 29 September, I participated in Timisoara, Romania the 7th edition of the Symposium on Symbolic and Numeric Algorithms for Scientific Computing. Well, what can I say? It was a very well-organized event in probably the nicest city in Romania. Timisoara is however very far away from my home-town so I had to travel 15 hours by train just to get there, and other 15 hours to get back. The trip was however quite enjoyable, because of the good company and the fact that I could sleep for most of the time.
SYNASC is one of he largest conferences in my country, comprising six different workshops this year: Computer-Aided Verification of Information Systems (CAVIS), Symbolic Grid Computing (SGC), Natural Computing and Applications Workshop (NCA), Petri-Nets and their Applications on Workflow Management (PN&WM), Workshop on Theory and Applications of P Systems (TAPS), and, of course, the Workshop on Agents for Complex Systems (ACSys), where I presented my paper. SYNASC also had other smaller sections on Data Clustering & Image Processing, Scientific Computing Systems & User Interfaces, Data Mining, Cryptography & Compression Algorithms and, finally, Distributed and Parallel Computation. So it was a very large conference indeed, with people coming from all over the world, taking about interesting topics.
My presentation was in the first day, together with the other talks about software agents. It was not a big surprise that the interest in agents was quite low (judging by the low number of papers at least). The hype is in different fields now such as Natural Computing and P Systems, while agents are just a big unfulfilled promise. And with less and less people working on software agents the chances of having autonomous intelligent agents one day in the future are also getting slimmer. But these are things I happen to be familiar with for some time, so there was no reason to be sad about them. There were very interesting talks in many other areas, and I attended around 50% of them. When I was not attending talks, I was wondering around the city, meeting old friends and making new ones and sleeping … a lot of sleeping. We also had a trip to the Recaş vineyard where we were thought how to taste wine like professionals, and a very fancy conference dinner.
Overall, I had a great time at SYNASC, and I am considering of going again next year.