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Sara Kalvala
University of Warwick
Coventry, United Kingdom
 

Sara Kalvala specializes in formal methods and computational biology. After obtaining a BSc in Biology from the Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Brazil, she did a conversion master’s degree at the University of Hyderabad, India, and then received a PhD in computer science from the University of California, Davis, where she studied theorem-proving methodologies for hardware verification.

She then came to the University of Cambridge, UK to continue looking at theorem proving and diverse logic-based formal methods. She explored variant logics such as linear logic and temporal logic and their role in formal verification, and was also involved in the development and documentation of the HOL and Isabelle proof systems. From hardware, she moved on to look at software verification, particularly the issue of compiler verification and the correctness of optimizations that are embedded in most modern compilers.

After moving to the University of Warwick, UK as a faculty member, and reflecting on the increasing role of computer modeling in biology, she began working in computational biology. She is especially interested in understanding how individual cells or microorganisms communicate and coordinate with each other to give rise to emergent behavior and complex structures such as tissues and biofilms. Bringing together her two main interests, she is currently applying compilation techniques in biology under the exciting new umbrella of synthetic biology, where a computational view is applied in making genetic engineering methodologies more robust and effective. She is now involved in several British interdisciplinary consortia working on synthetic biology.

As a faculty member, Sara has also been very interested in how to make computer science education more exciting and accessible. How to teach programming to beginners is an important concern, and the increasing societal relevance of computer games and interactive gadgets may play an important role in teaching, as well as the public understanding of, computing as a scientific discipline.


     

Object-orientation, abstraction, and data structures using Scala (2nd ed.)
Lewis M., Lacher L.,  Chapman & Hall/CRC, Boca Raton, FL, 2017. 660 pp. Type: Book (978-1-498732-16-1)

The topic of language choice for teaching programming often results in enthusiastic (sometimes irate) discussion. While Java, Python, and JavaScript are the most often championed choices, others such as Eiffel, Haskell, and, for our purpose, Scala...

 

Programming language explorations
Toal R., Rivera R., Schneider A., Choe E.,  CRC Press, Inc., Boca Raton, FL, 2017.Type: Book (9781498738460), Reviews: (1 of 2)

As a computer scientist, one is often subjected to some colleague or student launching into an animated description of the latest programming language that has caught their fancy. A recent visitor gave a seminar where her eventual choice of a lang...

 

Advances in Physarum machines: sensing and computing with slime mould
Adamatzky A.,  Springer International Publishing, New York, NY, 2016. 839 pp. Type: Book (978-3-319266-61-9)

Ever since I was given an old plastic lunchbox containing a sample Physarum culture, I have been fascinated by this biological system. I had been about to teach schoolkids about computing and was hoping to motivate them with patterns found ...

 

Modeling and simulating software architectures: the Palladio approach
Reussner R., Becker S., Happe J., Heinrich R., Koziolek A., Koziolek H., Kramer M., Krogmann K.,  The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2016. 400 pp. Type: Book (978-0-262034-76-0)

As a computer science (CS) academic responsible for supervising and marking large student projects, I am used to being presented with pages and pages of unified modeling language (UML) diagrams; this usually drives me to despair as it is not clear...

 

Scientific peer reviewing: practical hints and best practices
Spyns P., Vidal M.,  Springer International Publishing, New York, NY, 2015. 57 pp. Type: Book (978-3-319250-83-0)

Peer reviewing is something we often learn by experience, though recently there has been an effort by many doctoral programs to provide guidance. This slim and straightforward volume may well help, by giving hints and suggestions....

 
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