### Symposium on Compositional Structures

#### Posted by John Baez

There’s a new conference series, whose acronym is pronounced “psycho”. It’s part of the new trend toward the study of “compositionality” in many branches of thought, often but not always using category theory:

- First Symposium on Compositional Structures (SYCO1), School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham, 20-21 September, 2018. Organized by Ross Duncan, Chris Heunen, Aleks Kissinger, Samuel Mimram, Simona Paoli, Mehrnoosh Sadrzadeh, Pawel Sobocinski and Jamie Vicary.

The Symposium on Compositional Structures is a new interdisciplinary series of meetings aiming to support the growing community of researchers interested in the phenomenon of compositionality, from both applied and abstract perspectives, and in particular where category theory serves as a unifying common language. We welcome submissions from researchers across computer science, mathematics, physics, philosophy, and beyond, with the aim of fostering friendly discussion, disseminating new ideas, and spreading knowledge between fields. Submission is encouraged for both mature research and work in progress, and by both established academics and junior researchers, including students.

More details below! Our very own David Corfield is one of the invited speakers.

The Symposium on Compositional Structures is a new interdisciplinary series of meetings aiming to support the growing community of researchers interested in the phenomenon of compositionality, from both applied and abstract perspectives, and in particular where category theory serves as a unifying common language. We welcome submissions from researchers across computer science, mathematics, physics, philosophy, and beyond, with the aim of fostering friendly discussion, disseminating new ideas, and spreading knowledge between fields. Submission is encouraged for both mature research and work in progress, and by both established academics and junior researchers, including students.

Submission is easy, with no format requirements or page restrictions. The meeting does not have proceedings, so work can be submitted even if it has been submitted or published elsewhere.

While no list of topics could be exhaustive, SYCO welcomes submissions with a compositional focus related to any of the following areas, in particular from the perspective of category theory:

- logical methods in computer science, including classical and quantum programming, type theory, concurrency, natural language processing and machine learning;
- graphical calculi, including string diagrams, Petri nets and reaction networks;
- languages and frameworks, including process algebras, proof nets, type theory and game semantics;
- abstract algebra and pure category theory, including monoidal category theory, higher category theory, operads, polygraphs, and relationships to homotopy theory;
- quantum algebra, including quantum computation and representation theory;
- tools and techniques, including rewriting, formal proofs and proof assistants, and game theory;
- industrial applications, including case studies and real-world problem descriptions.

This new series aims to bring together the communities behind many previous successful events which have taken place over the last decade, including “Categories, Logic and Physics”, “Categories, Logic and Physics (Scotland)”, “Higher-Dimensional Rewriting and Applications”, “String Diagrams in Computation, Logic and Physics”, “Applied Category Theory”, “Simons Workshop on Compositionality”, and the “Peripatetic Seminar in Sheaves and Logic”.

The steering committee hopes that SYCO will become a regular fixture
in the academic calendar, running regularly throughout the year, and
becoming over time a recognized venue for presentation and discussion
of results in an informal and friendly atmosphere. To help create this
community, in the event that more good-quality submissions are
received than can be accommodated in the timetable, we may choose to
*defer* some submissions to a future meeting, rather than reject them.
This would be done based on submission order, giving an incentive for
early submission, and avoiding any need to make difficult choices
between strong submissions. Deferred submissions would be accepted for
presentation at any future SYCO meeting without the need for peer
review. This will allow us to ensure that speakers have enough time to
present their ideas, without creating an unnecessarily competitive
atmosphere. Meetings would be held sufficiently frequently to avoid a
backlog of deferred papers.

# Invited Speakers

David Corfield, Department of Philosophy, University of Kent: “The ubiquity of modal type theory”.

Jules Hedges, Department of Computer Science, University of Oxford: “Compositional game theory”

# Important Dates

All times are anywhere-on-earth.

- Submission deadline: Sunday 5 August 2018
- Author notification: Monday 13 August 2018
- Travel support application deadline: Monday 20 August 2018
- Symposium dates: Thursday 20 September and Friday 21 September 2018

# Submissions

Submission is by EasyChair, via the following link:

Submissions should present research results in sufficient detail to allow them to be properly considered by members of the programme committee, who will assess papers with regards to significance, clarity, correctness, and scope. We encourage the submission of work in progress, as well as mature results. There are no proceedings, so work can be submitted even if it has been previously published, or has been submitted for consideration elsewhere. There is no specific formatting requirement, and no page limit, although for long submissions authors should understand that reviewers may not be able to read the entire document in detail.

# Funding

Some funding is available to cover travel and subsistence costs, with a priority for PhD students and junior researchers. To apply for this funding, please contact the local organizer Jamie Vicary at j.o.vicary@bham.ac.uk by the deadline given above, with a short statement of your travel costs and funding required.

# Programme Committee

The symposium managed by the following people, who also serve as the programme committee.

- Ross Duncan, University of Strathclyde
- Chris Heunen, University of Edinburgh
- Aleks Kissinger, Radboud University Nijmegen
- Samuel Mimram, École Polytechnique
- Simona Paoli, University of Leicester
- Mehrnoosh Sadrzadeh, Queen Mary, University of London
- Pawel Sobocinski, University of Southampton
- Jamie Vicary, University of Birmingham and University of Oxford (local organizer)

## Re: Symposium on Compositional Structures

Yes, I’m really looking forward to it.

Back in the day, we used to talk about modal logic quite regularly: Coalgebraic Modal Logic, Tarski’s Two Approaches to Modal Logic, Category Theoretic Modal Logic Modal Types.

Since then much has happened in physics, Modern Physics formalized in Modal Homotopy Type Theory, and now computer science-logic, with Mike’s exciting work reported by him here.

Time to update my last talk on this then.