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BCS-FACS is a Specialist Group of the British Computer Society.

BCS-FACS is the BCS Formal Aspects of Computing Science Specialist Group.


The FACS group, inaugurated on 16 March 1978,[1] organizes meetings for its members and others on formal methods and related computer science topics. There is an associated journal, Formal Aspects of Computing, published by Springer, and a more informal FACS FACTS newsletter.[2]

The group celebrated its 20th anniversary with a meeting at the Royal Society in London in 1998, with presentations by four eminent computer scientists, Mike Gordon, Tony Hoare, Robin Milner and Gordon Plotkin, all Fellows of the Royal Society.

From 2002–2008 and since 2013 again, the Chair of BCS-FACS has been Jonathan Bowen. Jawed Siddiqi was Chair during 2008–2013. In December 2002, BCS-FACS organized a conference on the Formal Aspects of Security (FASec'02)[3] at Royal Holloway, University of London.[4] In 2004, FACS organized a major event at London South Bank University to celebrate its own 25th anniversary and also 25 Years of CSP (CSP25),[5] attended by the originator of CSP, Sir Tony Hoare, and others in the field.[6]

The group liaises with other related groups such as the Centre for Software Reliability, Formal Methods Europe, the London Mathematical Society Computer Committee, the Safety-Critical Systems Club, and the Z User Group. It has held joint meetings with other BCS specialist groups such as the Advanced Programming Group and BCSWomen.

FACS sponsors and supports meetings, such as the Refinement Workshop.[7] It has often held a Christmas event each year, with a theme related to formal aspects of computing — for example, teaching formal methods[8] and formal methods in industry.[9] BCS-FACS supported the ABZ 2008 conference at the BCS London premises.[10] In 2015, FACS hosted a two-day ProCoS Workshop on "Provably Correct Systems", with many former members of the ESPRIT ProCoS I and II projects and Working Group of the 1990s.[11]

Evening seminars[edit]

John C. Reynolds (1935–2013), American computer scientist, who delivered the first BCS-FACS Peter Landin Semantics Seminar in 2010.[12]
Joe Stoy speaking on the pioneer computer scientist Christopher Strachey (1916–1975) for his centenary, during a BCS-FACS evening seminar at the BCS London office on 15 November 2016.

In recent years, a series of evening seminars have been held, mainly at the BCS London office. Speakers have included leading computer scientists, mainly from the United Kingdom but some from abroad, including Samson Abramsky FRS, Jean-Raymond Abrial (France/Switzerland), Farhad Arbab, Troy Astarte, Dines Bjørner (Denmark), Robin Bloomfield, Richard Bornat (twice), Egon Börger (Italy), Jonathan Bowen, Jan Broenink (Netherlands), Michael Butler, Muffy Calder OBE (twice), Jack Copeland (New Zealand), Tim Denvir, Cedric Fournet (France), Mike Gordon FRS, Anthony Hall, Mark Harman, Martin Henson, Rob Hierons, Jane Hillston, Mike Hinchey, Sir Tony Hoare FRS, Mike Holcombe, Michael Jackson, Cliff Jones, Marta Kwiatkowska (twice), Zhiming Liu, Tom Maibaum, Ursula Martin CBE, Peter Mosses, Ben Moszkowski, Peter O'Hearn FRS, Steve Reeves (New Zealand), John Reynolds (USA), Peter Ryan, Steve Schneider, Joe Stoy, David Turner, John Tucker, Phil Wadler, among others. In 2010, a book of chapters based on some of these talks was published.[13] Talks have been held annually with Formal Methods Europe and the London Mathematical Society (at the LMS headquarters in central London). Since 2010, there has been an Annual Peter Landin Semantics Seminar held each December in memory of the British computer scientist Peter Landin (1930–2009).[14]

FACS FACTS newsletter[edit]

The FACS FACTS newsletter (ISSN 0950-1231) is published periodically, originally on paper and now online.[2] The editors are Tim Denvir and Brian Monahan.[15]

F. X. Reid has been a regular FACS FACTS newsletter contributor in the past. For example, he has been an enthusiast for the COMEFROM statement and an expert on its semantics.[16] Apparently reports of FXR's death in 2006[17] were untrue and his musings continued after this time in the newsletter.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cooke, D.J.; Simpson, D. (April 1990). "FACS at ten". FACS FACS: The Newsletter of the BCS FormalAspects of Computing Science SG. Series II. 1 (1): 4–6.
  2. ^ a b "Back issues of FACS FACTS". BCS-FACS. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
  3. ^ "FASec'02 conference". Archive.org. London South Bank University. 2002. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27.
  4. ^ Ali E. Abdallah, Peter Ryan and Steve Schneider (editors), Formal Aspects of Security. Springer, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Volume 2629, 2003. ISBN 3-540-20693-0.
  5. ^ "CSP25 conference". Archive.org. London South Bank University. 2004. Archived from the original on 2007-10-08.
  6. ^ Ali E. Abdallah, Cliff B. Jones and Jeff W. Sanders (editors), Communicating Sequential Processes: The First 25 Years. Springer, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Volume 3525, 2005. ISBN 3-540-25813-2.
  7. ^ John Derrick, Eerke Boiten, Jim Woodcock and Joakim von Wright (editors), REFINE 2002: The BCS FACS Refinement Workshop. Electronic Notes in Theoretical Computer Science, 70(3). Elsevier Science Publishers, July 2002.
  8. ^ Paul Boca, Jonathan P. Bowen, and David A. Duce (editors), Teaching Formal Methods: Practice and Experience, BCS London, UK, 15 December 2006. Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC), BCS, 2006.
  9. ^ Paul Boca, Jonathan P. Bowen, and Peter Gorm Larsen (editors), FACS 2007 Christmas Workshop: Formal Methods in Industry, BCS London, UK, 17 December 2007. Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC), BCS, 2007.
  10. ^ "ABZ 2008 Conference". September 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-01-18. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  11. ^ Hinchey, Michael G.; Bowen, Jonathan P.; Olderog, Ernst-Rüdiger, eds. (2017). Provably Correct Systems. NASA Monographs in Systems and Software Engineering. Springer. ISBN 978-3319486277.
  12. ^ "Peter Landin Annual Semantics Seminar". BCS-FACS. London, UK: BCS. 6 December 2010. Archived from the original on 2012-03-06.
  13. ^ Boca, Paul; Bowen, Jonathan P.; Siddiqi, Jawed, eds. (2010). Formal Methods: State of the Art and New Directions. London: Springer-Verlag. Bibcode:2010fmso.book.....B. doi:10.1007/978-1-84882-736-3. ISBN 978-1-84882-735-6. e-ISBN 978-1-84882-736-3.
  14. ^ "BCS FACS Annual Peter Landin Semantics seminar". BCS-FACS. British Computer Society. 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  15. ^ "FACS: Committee and contact details". BCS. Retrieved 25 January 2021.
  16. ^ Reid, F. X. (March 2006). "On the Formal Semantics of the COMEFROM Statement" (PDF). FACS FACTS. Vol. Issue 2006-1. BCS-FACS. pp. 18–20. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
  17. ^ Zemantics, Victor (March 2006). "Obituary: F.X. Reid" (PDF). FACS FACTS. Vol. Issue 2006-1. BCS-FACS. pp. 12–14. Retrieved 7 November 2012.

External links[edit]