— By Jo Devriendt

Tias Guns (KU Leuven) and his team from the Faculty of Engineering Science / Department of Computer Science (DTAI) organized the 2023 Association for Constraint Programming Summer School. The theme of the 2023 edition was “Machine Learning for Constraint Programming” (ML4CP). The event brought together more than 90 participants – researchers, students, practitioners and experts – to explore the diverse applications and advancements emerging from the integration of Machine Learning with Constraint Programming.

ML4CP was held in Leuven, Belgium, as a five-day event: from Monday July 10th to Friday July 14th. To lecture on a diverse range of topics, Tias Guns was joined by nine other speakers: Quentin Cappart (Polytechnique Montreal), Ferdinando Fioretto (University of Virginia), Elias Khalil (University of Toronto), Wouter Kool (ORTEC), Lars Kotthoff (University of Wyoming), Michele Lombardi (Università di Bologna), Yingqian Zhang (TU Eindhoven), Hendrik Blockeel (KU Leuven) and Dimos Tsouros (KU Leuven). Slides and live recordings will be available on the website: https://school.a4cp.org/summer2023.

Complementing the insightful talks, the summer school featured interactive lab sessions, offering participants a hands-on perspective on covered topics. Attendees also took the opportunity to discuss their own work in the poster session where over 40 posters were presented. During the hackathon, participants creatively explored open questions from topics presented during the summer school, collaborating in groups of 3-5 people and comparing different approaches.

Of course, there was ample opportunity to connect in an informal setting during any of many social activities. Those who wanted culture joined the guided tour of Leuven, sporty participants proved their mettle in several ball games at a sports facility, and the relaxed gathered for a walking dinner. Naturally, those with a fondness of beer explored the many different flavors Leuven has to offer.

The organizers are happy with another successful edition of the ACP summer school and want to thank all who contributed to this success, including the BNVKI.