Creativity Talks 08 – “A Theoretical Computer Science Perspective on Consciousness: Insights from the Conscious Turing Machine” – Lenore and Manuel Blum

The eighth session of the Creativity Talks will have as keynote speakers the distinguished Professors at Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science Lenore Blum and Manuel Blum.

Lenore and Manuel Blum, recipients of the PAESMEM and Turing awards, respectively, will present at FEUP “A Theoretical Computer Science Perspective on Consciousness: Insights from the Conscious Turing Machine” on Sep 29 2022, at 6 pm., in Room B032, and also streamed online via Youtube.

“We are Theoretical Computer Scientists. Theoretical Computer Science is a subarea of Mathematics that has tools, we claim, ideally suited to understanding consciousness. We have applied these tools to produce a model of consciousness that we call the Conscious Turing Machine (CTM). Our model gives insight into what goes on in our head to cause us to feel conscious. It also suggests how machines may be constructed to be conscious.

A Turing Machine (TM) is a very simple device defined mathematically by Alan Turing. There is no way that anyone would or should consider a TM to be conscious. However, with the advent of fMRI in 1990, advances in Neuroscience, and the Global Neuronal Workspace Models of Baars, Changeaux, and Dehaene, we have defined a variant of TM, the CTM, that we argue gives insight into consciousness.

Lenore will present and explain our model of consciousness, the CTM. Manuel will discuss how and why the CTM experiences feelings of consciousness”, shares Prof. Blum.

To attend the lecture at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto, please register HERE! Participation at the event is free of charge, but registration is compulsory. Online participation does not require any registration.

Talk link:

Lenore Blum has been passionate about mathematics since she was 10. She attributes that to having dropped out of school when she was 9 to wander the world, then hit the ground running when she returned and became fascinated with the Euclidean Algorithm. Her interests turned to non-standard models of mathematics, and of computation. As a graduate student at MIT, she showed how to use saturated model theory to get new results in differential algebra. Later, with Mike Shub and Steve Smale, she developed a foundational theory for computing and complexity over continuous domains such as the real or complex numbers. The theory generalizes the Turing-based theory (for discrete domains) and has been fundamental for computational mathematics. Lenore is internationally known for her work in increasing the participation of girls and women in STEM and is proud that CMU has gender parity in its undergraduate CS program. Lenore is currently president of the Association for Mathematical Consciousness Science. Lenore Blum:

Manuel Blum has been motivated to understand the mind/body problem since he was in second grade when his teacher told his mom she should not expect him to get past high school. As an undergrad at MIT, he spent a year studying Freud and then apprenticed himself to the great anti-Freud neurophysiologist Warren S. McCulloch, who became his intellectual mentor. When he told Warren (McCulloch) and Walter (Pitts) that he wanted to study consciousness, he was told in no uncertain terms that he was verboten to do so – and why. As a graduate student, he asked and got Marvin Minsky to be his thesis advisor. Manuel is one of the founders of complexity theory, a Turing Award winner, and has mentored many in the field who have chartered new directions ranging from computational learning, cryptography, zero knowledge, interactive proofs, proof checkers, and human computation. Manuel Blum:

PhD Defense in Informatics Engineering: “Incentive Mechanisms and Policy Evaluation on Open Multi-Agent Systems: Towards Social-Aware Transportation Systems”

Zafeiris Kokkinogenis

Date, time and place
23rd September, 14:30, Sala de Atos FEUP


President of the Jury:

Carlos Manuel Milheiro de Oliveira Pinto Soares, PhD, Associate Professor, Departamento de Engenharia Informática, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto



Alberto Fernandez Gil, PhD,  Associate Professor, Departamento de Ciencias de la Computación, Arquitectura de Computadores, Lenguajes y Sistemas Informáticos y Estadística e Investigación Operativa, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos;

Sandra Maria Monteiro de Melo, PhD, Main Researcher of the Business Unit INTELI – Policy & Intelligence for Sustainability, CEiiA – Centre of Engineering and Product Development;

Pedro José Ramos Moreira de Campos, PhD, Assistant Professor, Agrupamento Científico de Matemática e Sistemas de Informação, Faculdade de Economia da Universidade do Porto;

Rosaldo José Fernandes Rossetti, PhD, Associate Professor, Departamento de Engenharia Informática, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto (Supervisor);

Ana Paula Cunha da Rocha, PhD, Associate Professor, Departamento de Engenharia Informática, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto.



Generally speaking, a large-scale socio-technical system is formed up of individual entities that are distributed along with the system’s space and act asynchronously in their decision making processes. Each of the individuals bears its own goals and tends to behave rather “selfishly” and “greedily” to maximise self-welfare utilities. However, this characteristic will generally affect negatively the global efficiency and the designed (expected) emergent behavior of the system. Indeed, private road transport imposes negative externalities on society, such as road capacity restrictions, accidents, congestion, etc. An efficient mobility model must take into account the real costs of transport, and its regulatory framework will need to produce the conditions for people to make sustainable transport choices. Economic theories offer two types of instruments for addressing the problem of transport externalities: command-and-control and incentive-based policies.

Command-and-control policies are government regulations which force users to change their behavior. In that sense, recent approaches to optimise the traffic network throughput and reduce traffic congestion basically rely on “road pricing”. However, this approach ends up penalising the user and creating social inequalities as it imposes a tax to be paid. Only those who are insensitive to the price will benefit. Also, a population may not be responsive to the defined penalties, and thus, the regulation may not be efficient.

On the other hand, an approach that has gained the community’s attention is based on the implementation and design of incentive schemes in public policy. Incentives are seen as those external measures that try to motivate a behavior change towards the objective of the system. It appears to be a “fairer” vision, as it does not discriminate the user but rather tries to bring the society into equilibrium.

The domain area on which this PhD thesis is focused concerns open and competitive multiagent systems, such as the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and the electricity markets. This thesis intends to address the issue of whether or not incentive-centred designs can favour the emergence of social-aware behavior in agents that have selfish tendencies for a (global) optimal evolution of a socio-technical system. Traditional transport planning tools using the four-step model combined with standard economic appraisal methods are not able to provide such analysis. Instead, a multi-agent system (MAS) social simulations can be used as it is argued in the literature of complex systems.

Keywords: Multi-Agent Systems, Incentive Mechanisms, Resource Markets, Policy Evaluation, Traffic Simulation.

PhD Defense in Digital Media: ”Acoustic ecology in artistic creation: re-discovering underwater soundscapes”

Francisca Santos Silva Rocha Gonçalves

Date, time and place
22nd September, 10h00, Sala de Atos FEUP

President of the Jury
António Fernando Vasconcelos Cunha Castro Coelho, PhD, Associate Professor with Habilitation at Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto

Angus Carlyle, PhD, Professor at University of Arts London, UK;
Isabel Maria Antunes Pires, PhD, Invited Assistant Professor at Universidade Nova de Lisboa;
Raquel Maria Lemos e Castro, PhD, Researcher at Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias;
Rui Luís Nogueira Penha, PhD, Assistant Professor at Instituto Politécnico do Porto (Supervisor);
Gilberto Bernardes de Almeida, PhD, Assistant Professor at Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto.


The aim of this thesis is to connect people with underwater environments while creating awareness for the problem of anthropogenic noise pollution through artistic creation. This dissertation addresses the lack of information on underwater noise discourse, especially on the vibrational aspect of underwater sound. By asking how to convey the experience of underwater soundscapes and their human disruption, it proposes two major directions that inform and complement each other. First, several underwater soundscape recordings were realised. They provide an understanding of the ambience of places and allow attunement with the natural world. Second, six practice-based research artworks based on the soundscape recordings and methods from acoustic ecology and ecoacoustics, focusing on anthropogenic sounds aimed at improving inclusion with nature while creating awareness of the noise pollution problem. The revised strategies and concepts included place attachment, emotional affinity, nature-connectedness and ecology of æffect. These artworks provide the setting for challenging audiences to bond with underwater environments by listening to their soundscapes while revealing a particular aspect of underwater sound. Moreover, they explore creative strategies for developing sonic experiences with the introduction, experience and performance of underwater sounds in artistic creation. Additionally, the artworks introduce and approach a natural phenomenon related to underwater sound (Luciferina – bioluminescence; SINØ III – cymatics; #switchoffandlisten – noise awareness campaign; DIS_turbation – bioturbation; Munda – cavitation; 2182kHz – auditory masking). The insights from the artistic experiences proved critical to continue producing innovative contributions and to create knowledge while influencing the communities. The significance of this study is that it informs the theoretical understanding of noise pollution impacts on aquatic fauna and underwater acoustics by introducing a focus on the vibrational aspect of underwater sound: particle motion. In addition, it informs the empirical understanding of the practice-based research on developing the proposed artworks. The novelty lies in addressing biological phenomena as a creative resource to intervene in underwater noise dialogue, reveal hidden qualities of vibroscape ecology (such as particle motion) and translate them in a more grasping way through the artistic artworks. As underwater soundscapes are increasingly a topic of concern globally, they become crucial to fostering an emotional affinity between people and natural environments, promoting inclusion with nature.

Keywords: ecological sound art, acoustic ecology, underwater soundscapes, anthropogenic noise, vibroscape ecology, nature-connectedness, ecology of æffect.

DEI Talks | “Efficient Engineering of Systems of Systems” by Prof. Jerker Delsing

Professor Delsings research profile can be entitled “Internet of Thing Services and Systems”, with applications to automation in large and complex industry and society systems. Addressing design, engineering, and deployment of System of Systems (SoS) capable of collaborative automation, Prof. Delsing and his EISLAB group has participated in important EU projects like SocradesIMC-AESOP, Arrowhead and Productive4.0 project.

“Efficient Engineering of Systems of Systems” will be presented July the 26th, at 10:00, room I-105.

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

“Delsing has a long standing in ultrasound sensor technology in particularly applied to flow measurement. His present research profile can be entitled “Internet of Thing Services and Systems”, with applications to automation in large and complex industry and society systems. The approach is based on Internet of Things (IoT) and the design engineering, and deployment of System of Systems (SoS) capable of collaborative automation. The integration and manufacturing of necessary electronics is a of key interest. Prof. Delsing and his EISLAB group has been a partner of several large EU projects in the field, e.g. Socrades and IMC-AESOP and ESIS. Currently he is the coordinator of the very large ARTEMIS project Arrowhead,  with 78 partners and a budget of 69M€.

Delsing has been supervisor for 37 students receiving the PhD degree, with some 45+ students in total for the EISLAB group. His list of publications can be found at:

Delsing is highly involved in the innovations systems related to automation and embedded systems. At the European level he is steering board member of ARTEMIS, board member of ProcessIT.EU. At national (Sweden) level he is board member of ProcessIT Innovations and ESIS. From 1998 – 2015 he was the chairman of ITF (Instrument Tekniska Föreningen/Instrument Society of Sweden) with about 1.000 automation engineers as members.”


“Prof. Jerker Delsing received the M.Sc. in Engineering Physics at Lund Institute of Technology, Sweden 1982. In 1988 he received the PhD. degree in Electrical Measurement at the Lund University. During 1985 – 1988 he worked part time at Alfa-Laval – SattControl (now ABB) with development of sensors and measurement technology. In 1994 he got the docent degree (associate prof) in Heat and Power Engineering. Early 1995 he was appointed full professor in Industrial Electronics at Luleå University of Technology where he currently is working as the scientific head of EISLAB, For the period 2004-2006 he also served as Dean of the engineering faculty at Luleå University of Technology.”


DEI OPEN DAY | Return in loco on July 12

On July 12th, DEI Open Day 2022 will finally return to in loco format.

This event takes place annually and aims to be a showcase of the teaching and research activity of the Department of Informatics Engineering of FEUP, with the goal of strengthening the collaboration of DEI with companies and its connection to the community.

Exploring this year’s theme, “Undergraduate + Masters to train the computer engineers of the future“, themes such as the role of undergraduate degrees and masters in the comprehensive training of Computer Engineers will be addressed in a joint reflection between teachers and guests from industry.

There will also be an opportunity to learn about ongoing projects in the DEI laboratories and, after lunch, a visit to the stands of these laboratories and the π Projects Fair (projects of final-year students of L.EIC undergraduate course).

+ info: programme

DEI Talks |”From building installations, through archaeology to precision agriculture” – Projects of the Jaén Graphics and Geomatics Group (GGGJ)

“From building installations, through archaeology to precision agriculture ” will be presented July the 13th, room B019 , at 15:00.


 The GGGJ research group celebrates its 25th anniversary working in two areas, Computer Graphics and Geomatics. The projects that have been awarded lately are also in these lines of research.

The so-called project: “Computer Graphics tool for 3D and 4D data management. Applying VR & AR techniques to Urban Infrastructures and Archaeology” (2018-2021) completed in December 2021, is oriented to 4D models hidden or disappeared for the view.

New projects now active are focused on Precision Agriculture, mostly oriented to the olive grove. The last one granted by the Spanish Ministry (180,000 euros) is entitled:” 3D/4D tools for the generation of digital twins of rural environments. Applications” starts in September and has a duration of 3 years.


Francisco Feito, graduated in Mathematics (specializing in Pure Mathematics) in 1977, at the Complutense University of Madrid. After 12 years in pre-university teaching, he joined the University of Granada (Jaen Campus). In 1993 (already constituted the University of Jaen) he was elected Director of the Department of Computer Science (which included, and still includes, the areas of Computer Languages and Systems, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence and Computer Architecture and Technology). In 1997 he was appointed General Director of Curriculum and Quality of the University of Jaén and in 1999 Vice-Rector of Research and International Relations (until 2002). Subsequently he was again Director of the department from 2004 to 2008. He has been a member of the faculty and of several University committees.

Areas of interest: Geometric Modeling; Solid Modeling; Algorithms in Computer Graphics; Geomatics; Computational Geometry; Spatial Information Systems; Geographic Information Systems; Precision Agriculture in the Olive Grove; Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality; Simulation; Smart City; Digital Twin- Digital Twin.

Lidia. M. Ortega received the BSc degree in Computer Science from the University of Granada (Spain), and the PhD degree from the University of Seville. She has been an associate professor at the Department of Computer Science at University of Jaén teaching at the High Polytechnics Institute since the 90s. Her research work focuses on computational Geometry applied to Computer Graphic, 3D-GIS, Spatial databases, Geomatics and Agriculture precision.

2022 MDSE – Sunset Session: Ethics and Responsability in AI

With the preparation of the 3rd edition of the M.Sc. on Data Science and Engineering ( well under way, it is time to look back at what was accomplished so far and also to project the future. This will be done as part of the 2022 MDSE Sunset Session, on the 2nd July (Saturday), in room B032, in a relaxed environment but focused on a very important topic: Ethics and Responsability in AI.

The program will feature two keynote talks, by Ana Costa e Silva (Mercer) and Pedro Saleiro (Feedzai), as well as a panel discussion including Inês de Matos Pinto (S&D Group @ European Parliament)Inês Sousa (Fraunhofer Portugal) and Peter van der Putten (Pegasystems & U. Leiden), moderated by Eugénio Oliveira (FEUP). During the event MDSE students will also present some of their projects.

The event is targeted both to companies, looking for talent in Data Science, as well as prospect students, looking for an advanced education on Data Science.

Participation is free but requires registration here.


14:30 – Opening – João Mendes Moreira – Director of the M.Sc. on Data Science and Engineering (MDSE)

14:40 – Ana Costa e Silva – Global Chief of Data Science @ Mercer, TBA – introduced by António Pedro Aguiar

15:10 – Pedro Saleiro – Director of AI Research @ Feedzai, challenges in the development of responsible AI research/solutions in Industry – introduced by José Luís Borges

15:40 – MDSE Student Showcase – introduced by Ana Aguiar

  • Cláudia Pinheiro: AI-based cancer characterization using semi-supervised learning algorithms
  • Diogo Queirós: Reconciling prediction in the regression setting: an application to Portuguese breweries’ market share prediction
  • Nuno Gaspar: Prediction of Shell Finite-Element Stresses using Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN)
  • Rafael Guedes: Data, machine vision and reinforcement learning for explainable and safe autonomous driving of platooning vehicles
  • Wagner Ceulin: Predicting customer purchasing behavior of a self-care online store
  • João Pedro Pêgo: Predicting candidate engagement in a job matchmaking site

16:30 – Coffee Break

17:10 – Panel discussion – moderated by Eugénio de Oliveira – Emeritus Professor @ FEUP

18:20 – Closing João Mendes Moreira – Director of the MDSE

18.30 – Sunset Drinks & Networking

19.30 – End of the event

We are very grateful to our partner for their support

DEI Talks | ”Mergeable Nervous System for Robot Swarms” by Marco Dorigo

Marco Dorigo is the proponent of the well-known “Ant Colony Optimization” meta-heuristic optimization algorithm and a leading researcher in the field of swarm robotics, which allows groups of individually very simple agents/robots to obtain group intelligence that allows coordinating large groups of autonomous agents/robots without relying on any external infrastructure or any form of centralized control. This approach is very promising for performing tasks that are too difficult or dangerous for humans using very simple and inexpensive sets of agents/robots.

 ”Mergeable Nervous System for Robot Swarms” will be presented June 29, at 16:00, in room I-105.


Typically, robot swarms coordinate through self-organization. With the proposal of the mergeable nervous system concept, we study how self-organization can be made more powerful as a tool to coordinate the activities of a robot swarm by injecting some components of hierarchical control. In the presentation, I will give a brief overview of the mergeable nervous systems concept and then illustrate the first steps we have made in implementing it in a heterogeneous swarm composed of drones and ground robots.


Marco Dorigo received the Ph.D. degree in electronic engineering in 1992 from Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy. From 1992 to 1993, he was a Research Fellow at the International Computer Science Institute, Berkeley, CA. In 1993, he was a NATO-CNR Fellow, and from 1994 to 1996, a Marie Curie Fellow. Since 1996, he has been a tenured Researcher of the FNRS, the Belgian National Funds for Scientific Research, and co-director of IRIDIA, the artificial intelligence laboratory of the ULB. His current research interests include swarm intelligence, swarm robotics, and metaheuristics for discrete optimization. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Swarm Intelligence, and an Associate Editor or member of the Editorial Boards of many journals on computational intelligence and adaptive systems. Dr. Dorigo is a Fellow of the AAAI, EurAI, and IEEE. He was awarded numerous international prizes among which the Marie Curie Excellence Award in 2003, the IEEE Frank Rosenblatt Award in 2015, and the IEEE Evolutionary Computation Pioneer Award, awarded in 2016.

Habilitation Exams: “Case studies of development of verified programs with Dafny”

Habilitation exams in the field of Computing Engineering: “Case studies of development of verified programs with Dafny

Requested by:

João Carlos Pascoal de Faria, PhD

July 7 2022, 14:30, Sala de Atos FEUP

Assessment of the curriculum and the report on the study cycle: “Do Mestrado Integrado à Licenciatura e Mestrado em Engenharia Informática e Computação na FEUP”

July 8 2022, 14:30, Sala de Atos FEUP

Discussion of the summary lesson entitled: “Case studies of development of verified programs with Dafny”

President of the Jury:

– João Bernardo de Sena Esteves Falcão e Cunha, PhD, Full Professor and Dean of the Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto.


– Vasco Manuel Thudichum de Serpa Vasconcelos, PhD, Full Professor at Departamento de Informática da Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa;

– Luís Manuel Marques da Costa Caires, PhD, Full Professor at Departamento de Informática da Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa;

– José Nuno Fonseca Oliveira, PhD, Full Professor at Departamento de Informática da Universidade do Minho;

– Rui Filipe Lima Maranhão de Abreu, PhD, Full Professor at Departamento de Engenharia Informática da Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto;

– Pedro Nuno Ferreira da Rosa da Cruz Diniz, PhD, Full Professor at Departamento de Engenharia Informática da Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto.

DEI Talks | “A Geographies of born-digital translation: TRANS.MISSION[A.DIALOGUE] as a case study” by Anne Karhio

Dr Anne Karhio’s work addresses topics related to contemporary poetry and technology, Irish literature and culture, and literary landscapes in various media environments. After her appointment as Associate Professor in English at the Norway Inland University of Applied Sciences, she is currently based in the National University of Ireland, Galway, as Lecturer in Contemporary English Literature in the School of English and Creative Arts. She is also Associate Professor II in Digital Culture at the University of Bergen, Norway, and has published widely on contemporary Irish poetry, digital literature, and the aesthetics of space and landscape.

“A Geographies of born-digital translation: TRANS.MISSION[A.DIALOGUE] as a case study” will be presented June 27, at I-105, 15:00.


 This presentation addresses the challenges of linguistic, geographical, and cultural translation through the specific case of J.R. Carpenter’s born-digital work TRANS.MISSION[A.DIALOGUE] and its translation from English into Finnish. I will consider how the challenges of linguistic translation from a European to a non-European language are further complicated by the requirements of code, as well as the translation of sociocultural context. Through its focus on technology, mobility, and migration, I suggest, Carpenter’s work invites us to consider the entangled connections between infrastructural geographies and the language of communications technology.