HFM 2019: History of Formal Methods workshop @ FM2019

The History of Formal Methods workshop (HFM 2019) will be part of the the 3rd World Congress on Formal Methods (FM 2019) and take place in Porto, Portugal, 11 October 2019.


The area of formal methods is a central part of theoretical computing. It grew out of work started in the 1960s to address errors in programming, as well as to bring mathematical foundations into computing. It has since become an important research area in its own right. Some formal methods have pedigrees of more than fifty years; others are very recent and will make their professional debuts elsewhere at FM’19. Looking back over the history of formal methods shows an intriguing research area with a complex intertwining of theory and practice; a struggle between academic rigour and practical utility. One key motif is a frustrating lack of uptake in industry and an ever-increasing arsenal of tools to ease this.

Now is a good time to explore the history of formal methods, to utilise the first-hand retrospectives and experiences of ageing researchers who participated, and to engage professional historians with the material. The topic provides the opportunity to explore questions like the utility of science, time versus money versus quality in software engineering, relations between industry and academic, and many more. The papers submitted to the workshop span a range of topics, including insider stories and consideration from the outside.

The workshop should have a mixed audience of both historians and technical researchers: a key aim is to get formalists interested in their history.


HFM 2019 Invited speaker: Mark Priestley.

  • Invited speaker: Mark Priestley
  • The list of accepted contributions can be found here.
  • The detailed program can be found here.

Where & When

HFM 2019 will take place during FMWeek in Porto, Portugal, October 11, 2019.

Author: Einar Broch Johnsen