Improving the Performance and Robustness of Web Applications
Speaker: James Mickens, Microsoft Research
Date: Tuesday, November 6 2012
Time: 4:00PM to 5:00PM
Location: 32-G449 (Patil/Kiva)
Host: Nickolai Zeldovich
Web applications are becoming more popular, and they are increasingly competitive with desktop applications in terms of functionality and visual sophistication. Unfortunately, web applications suffer from unique challenges that traditional desktop programs do not face. A single web application often contains code from multiple, mutually distrusting domains; however, web browsers expose a complex, ill-specified security model that makes it difficult to reason about safety. Furthermore, web browsers are buggy and only semi-compatible with each other and the ostensible “web standards.” These challenges make it difficult to write robust, portable web applications.
James Mickens is a researcher in the Distributed Systems group at MSR. Mickens received his PhD from the University of Michigan in 2008. While a student there, Mickens was legendary for his transcendental skills on the foosball table. He was also notorious for scheduling his thesis defense in the early hours of the morning so that nobody would attend it. This technique, popularly called "The Mickens Gambit," is now banned in 36 states.
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