October 26

Add to Calendar 2017-10-26 19:00:00 2017-10-26 21:00:00 America/New_York Data Provenance: From Theory to Practice IEEE Computer Society and GBC/ACMData Provenance: From Theory to PracticeMargo Seltzer7:00 PM, Thursday, 26 October 2017MIT Room 32-G449 (Kiva)There seems to be wide spread agreement that data provenance, the history of how a digital artifact came to be in its present state, is important. There also seems to be a great deal of activity in the research community about data provenance: how to collect it, how to represent it, how to store it, and how to query it. Given this apparent meeting of he minds, why then do we not have seamlessly integrated provenance systems? I'll present a brief, and undoubtedly biased, history of what the research community has been up to in this domain and then talk about the obstacles to wide spread adoption. Finally, I'll wrap up with some suggestions about how we might bring theory and practice closer together in this important domain.Margo I. Seltzer is Herchel Smith Professor of Computer Science and the Faculty Director for the Center for Research on Computation and Society in Harvard's John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Her research interests are in systems, construed quite broadly: systems for capturing and accessing provenance, file systems, databases, transaction processing systems, storage and analysis of graph-structured data, new architectures for parallelizing execution, and systems that apply technology to problems in healthcare.She is the author of several widely-used software packages including database and transaction libraries and the 4.4BSD log-structured file system. Dr. Seltzer was a founder and CTO of Sleepycat Software, the makers of Berkeley DB, and is now an Architect at Oracle Corporation. She was the USENIX representative to the Computing Research Association Board of Directors and a past President of the USENIX Association. She is a Sloan Foundation Fellow in Computer Science, an ACM Fellow, a Bunting Fellow, and was the recipient of the 1996 Radcliffe Junior Faculty Fellowship. She is recognized as an outstanding teacher and mentor, having received the Phi Beta Kappa teaching award in 1996, the Abrahmson Teaching Award in 1999, and the Capers and Marion McDonald Award for Excellence in Mentoring andAdvising in 2010. Dr. Seltzer received an A.B. degree in Applied Mathematics from Harvard/Radcliffe College in 1983 and a Ph. D. in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1992. This joint meeting of the Boston Chapter of the IEEE Computer Society and GBC/ACM will be held in MIT Room 32-G449 (the Kiva conference room on the 4th floor of the Stata Center, buildng 32 on MIT maps) . You can see it on this map of the MIT campus. Up-to-date information about this and other talks is available online at http://ewh.ieee.org/r1/boston/computer/. You can sign up to receive updated status information about this talk and informational emails about future talks at http://mailman.mit.edu/mailman/listinfo/ieee-cs, our self-administered mailing list. 32-G449 Belfer sarah_donahue@hks.harvard.edu

November 17

Add to Calendar 2017-11-16 19:00:00 2017-11-16 21:00:00 America/New_York It's Time for a New Old Language IEEE Computer Society and GBC/ACMIt's Time for a New Old LanguageGuy L. Steele Jr., Oracle Labs7:00 PM, Thursday, 16 November 2017MIT Room 32-G449 (Kiva)The most popular programming language in computer science has no compiler, interpreter, or complete specification. It is remarkably concise. It grew over decades; today, dozens of variations are in use. Its complexity has reached the point where it needs to be re-explained every time it is used, but too often it is not; instead, each variant is more or less taken for granted. This has led to ambiguities and inconsistencies. Much effort has been spent in hand-translating, in both directions, between this language and other languages that do have compilers, primarily for the purpose of implementing yet other languages. The language could well describe parallel computation, but this fact has gone unexploited. In this talk we will summarize the history of the language, highlight variations and problems that have arisen, and propose specific solutions. It is high time that this language be taken seriously, so that all the best tools and techniques of our trade may be applied to it also.Guy Steele is a Software Architect for Oracle Labs and Principal Investigator of the Programming Language Research Group. His research interests include programming language design and implementation, algorithms, compiler design, distributed systems, functional programming, object-oriented programming, automatic storage management (including garbage collection), floating-point arithmetic, interval arithmetic, hardware/software codesign, parallel algorithms, parallel computer architectures, and pseudorandom number generation.He received his A.B. in applied mathematics from Harvard College (1975), and his S.M. and Ph.D. in computer science and artificial intelligence from MIT (1977 and 1980). Prior to becoming a member of Oracle Labs, he was an assistant professor of computer science at Carnegie-Mellon University; a member of technical staff at Tartan Laboratories in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; a senior scientist at Thinking Machines Corporation in Cambridge, Massachusetts; and a Distinguished Engineer and then a Sun Fellow at Sun Microsystems Laboratories.He is author or co-author of five books: Common Lisp: The Language (Digital Press, first ed. 1984, second ed. 1990); C: A Reference Manual (Prentice-Hall, first ed. 1984, fifth ed. 2002); The Hacker's Dictionary (Harper&Row, 1983), which has been revised as The New Hacker's Dictionary, edited by Eric Raymond with introduction and illustrations by Guy Steele (MIT Press, first ed. 1992, third ed. 1996); The High Performance Fortran Handbook (MIT Press, 1994); and The Java Language Specification (Addison-Wesley, first ed. 1996, second ed. 2000, third ed. 2005; Java SE 7 ed. 2013; Java SE 8 ed. 2014). All are still in print. He has been praised for an especially clear and thorough writing style in explaining the details of programming languages.He has published more than two dozen papers on the subject of the Lisp language and Lisp implementation, including a series with Gerald Jay Sussman that defined the Scheme dialect of Lisp. One of these, "Multiprocessing Compactifying Garbage Collection," won first place in the ACM 1975 George E. Forsythe Student Paper Competition. Other papers published in CACM are "Design of a LISP-Based Microprocessor" with Gerald Jay Sussman (November 1980) and "Data Parallel Algorithms" with W. Daniel Hillis (December 1986); the latter has been cited over 1100 times. He has also published papers on many other subjects, including compilers, parallel processing, constraint languages, and pseudorandom number generation. One song he composed has been published in CACM ("The Telnet Song", April 1984).He has been given the ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award (1988), the ACM SIGPLAN Programming Languages Achievement Award (1996), the Dr. Dobb's Journal Excellence in Programming Award (2005), and the Harry H. Goode Memorial Award (2007). He led the team that received a 1990 Gordon Bell Prize honorable mention for achieving the fastest speed to that date for a production application: 14.182 Gigaflops. He is a AAAI Fellow (1990), ACM Fellow (1994), Member of the National Academy of Engineering of the United States of America (2001). Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2002), and IEEE Fellow (2011).He has served on accredited standards committees X3J11 (C language) and X3J3 (Fortran), and served as chairman of X3J13 (Common Lisp). He was also a member of the IEEE committee that produced the IEEE Standard for the Scheme Programming Language, IEEE Std 1178-1990. He was a representative to the High Performance Fortran Forum, which produced the High Performance Fortran specification in May, 1993. At Thinking Machines Corporation he co-developed the languages Connection Machine Lisp, C*, and Connection Machine Fortran. At Sun Microsystems (and now at Oracle) he has advised the evolution of the Java programming language; he also led the design of Fortress, an object-oriented mathematical language intended to support high-performance computing. He designed the original EMACS command set and was the first person to port TeX.He has served on Ph.D. thesis committees for twelve students. He has served as program chair for the 1984 ACM Lisp Conference and for the 15th ACM POPL conference (1988) and 23rd ACM POPL conference (1996); he has also served on program committees for more than 30 other conferences.At Oracle Labs he is responsible for research in language design and implementation strategies, and architectural and software support for programming languages.This joint meeting of the Boston Chapter of the IEEE Computer Society and GBC/ACM will be held in MIT Room 32-G449 (the Kiva conference room on the 4th floor of the Stata Center, buildng 32 on MIT maps) . You can see it on this map of the MIT campus.Up-to-date information about this and other talks is available online at http://ewh.ieee.org/r1/boston/computer/. You can sign up to receive updated status information about this talk and informational emails about future talks at http://mailman.mit.edu/mailman/listinfo/ieee-cs, our self-administered mailing list. 32-G449 Belfer sarah_donahue@hks.harvard.edu

December 08

Add to Calendar 2017-12-07 19:00:00 2017-12-07 21:00:00 America/New_York Probabilistic Programming IEEE Computer and GRSS Societies and GBC/ACM Probabilistic ProgrammingTheo Giannakopoulos, BAE Systems7:00 PM, Thursday, 7 December 2017MIT Room 32-G449 (Kiva)In this talk I will present a rapidly maturing approach to machine learning and data science called probabilistic programming. Probabilisticprogramming languages enable the use of machine learning by programmers and domain specialists without experience in the creation of specializedmachine learning algorithms. However, the combination of probability and program semantics makes reasoning about probabilistic programs challenging,even for probabilistic programming language implementers. I will outline an approach to reasoning about probabilistic programs using techniques from traditional programming language theory.Theo Giannakopoulos is a Principal Research Engineer at BAE Systems. He led the development of the Tempest programming language for BAE's SAFE project on the DARPA CRASH program and was the Principal Investigator for BAE's Open Probabilistic Programming Platform project for the DARPA PPAML program. Prior to joining BAE Systems, he developed secure back-office systems for financial and e-commerce companies. He received his Master's degree in Computer Science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) as part of the Applied Logic and Security group under the supervision of Prof. Daniel Dougherty, researching languages for the formal specification of security policies and policy combinators.This joint meeting of the Boston Chapters of the IEEE Computer and GRSS Societies and GBC/ACM will be held in MIT Room 32-G449 (the Kiva conferenceroom on the 4th floor of the Stata Center, buildng 32 on MIT maps). You can see it on this map of the MIT campus. Up-to-date information about this and other talks is available online at http://ewh.ieee.org/r1/boston/computer/. You can sign up to receive updated status information about this talk and informational emails about future talks at http://mailman.mit.edu/mailman/listinfo/ieee-cs, our self-administered mailing list. 32-G449 Belfer sarah_donahue@hks.harvard.edu

April 05

Add to Calendar 2018-04-05 19:00:00 2018-04-05 21:00:00 America/New_York ALGORAND: A Truly Distributed Ledger IEEE Computer Society and GBC/ACM 7:00 PM, Thursday, 5 April 2018 MIT Room 32-G449 (Kiva) ALGORAND: A Truly Distributed Ledger Silvio Micali, MIT A distributed ledger is a tamperproof sequence of data that can be read and augmented by everyone. Distributed ledgers stand to revolutionize the way a democratic society operates. They secure all kinds of traditional transactions, such as payments, asset transfers, and titling, in the exact order in which they occur and enable totally new transactions, such as cryptocurrencies and smart contracts. They can remove intermediaries and usher in a new paradigm for trust. As currently implemented, however, distributed ledgers cannot achieve their enormous potential. Algorand is an alternative, democratic, and efficient distributed ledger. Unlike prior ledgers based on 'proof of work', it dispenses with 'miners'. Algorand requires only a negligible amount of computation. Moreover, its transaction history does not 'fork' with overwhelming probability: i.e., Algorand guarantees the finality of all transactions. Finally, Algorand enjoys flexible self-governance. By using its hallmark propose-and-agree process, Algorand can correct its course as necessary or desirable, without any hard forks'. Silvio Micali received his Laurea in Mathematics from the University of Rome and his PhD in Computer Science from the University of California Berkeley. Since 1983 he has been on the MIT faculty of the EECS department, where he is currently Ford Professor of Engineering. Silvio's research interests are cryptography, zero knowledge proofs, pseudorandom generation, secure protocols, and mechanism design. Silvio is the recipient of the Turing Award (in computer science), the Goedel Prize (in theoretical computer science) and the RSA prize (in cryptography). He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. An overview of some of his accomplishments is online at https://amturing.acm.org/award_winners/micali_9954407.cfm. Silvio cofounded Peppercoin, a micropayments startup, and CoreStreet, which developed software for authorizing and validating transactions and signed communications. His latest startup Algorand is hoping to transform the blockchain marketplace. This joint meeting of the Boston Chapter of the IEEE Computer Society and GBC/ACM will be held in MIT Room 32-G449 (the Kiva conference room on the 4th floor of the Stata Center, buildng 32 on MIT maps) . You can see it on this map of the MIT campus. Up-to-date information about this and other talks is available online at http://ewh.ieee.org/r1/boston/computer/. You can sign up to receive updated status information about this talk and informational emails about future talks at http://mailman.mit.edu/mailman/listinfo/ieee-cs, our self-administered mailing list. Updated: Mar 19, 2018. 32-G449 Belfer sarah_donahue@hks.harvard.edu
Add to Calendar 2018-04-05 19:00:00 2018-04-05 21:00:00 America/New_York ALGORAND: A Truly Distributed Ledger PLEASE NOTE: This talk will be webcast on the CSAIL Youtube channel beginning at 7pm. IEEE Computer Society and GBC/ACM 7:00 PM, Thursday, 5 April 2018 MIT Room 32-G449 (Kiva) ALGORAND: A Truly Distributed Ledger Silvio Micali, MIT A distributed ledger is a tamperproof sequence of data that can be read and augmented by everyone. Distributed ledgers stand to revolutionize the way a democratic society operates. They secure all kinds of traditional transactions, such as payments, asset transfers, and titling, in the exact order in which they occur and enable totally new transactions, such as cryptocurrencies and smart contracts. They can remove intermediaries and usher in a new paradigm for trust. As currently implemented, however, distributed ledgers cannot achieve their enormous potential. Algorand is an alternative, democratic, and efficient distributed ledger. Unlike prior ledgers based on 'proof of work', it dispenses with 'miners'. Algorand requires only a negligible amount of computation. Moreover, its transaction history does not 'fork' with overwhelming probability: i.e., Algorand guarantees the finality of all transactions. Finally, Algorand enjoys flexible self-governance. By using its hallmark propose-and-agree process, Algorand can correct its course as necessary or desirable, without any hard forks'. Silvio Micali received his Laurea in Mathematics from the University of Rome and his PhD in Computer Science from the University of California Berkeley. Since 1983 he has been on the MIT faculty of the EECS department, where he is currently Ford Professor of Engineering. Silvio's research interests are cryptography, zero knowledge proofs, pseudorandom generation, secure protocols, and mechanism design. Silvio is the recipient of the Turing Award (in computer science), the Goedel Prize (in theoretical computer science) and the RSA prize (in cryptography). He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. An overview of some of his accomplishments is online at https://amturing.acm.org/award_winners/micali_9954407.cfm. Silvio cofounded Peppercoin, a micropayments startup, and CoreStreet, which developed software for authorizing and validating transactions and signed communications. His latest startup Algorand is hoping to transform the blockchain marketplace. This joint meeting of the Boston Chapter of the IEEE Computer Society and GBC/ACM will be held in MIT Room 32-G449 (the Kiva conference room on the 4th floor of the Stata Center, buildng 32 on MIT maps) . You can see it on this map of the MIT campus. Up-to-date information about this and other talks is available online at http://ewh.ieee.org/r1/boston/computer/. You can sign up to receive updated status information about this talk and informational emails about future talks at http://mailman.mit.edu/mailman/listinfo/ieee-cs, our self-administered mailing list. Updated: Mar 19, 2018. 32-G449 Belfer sarah_donahue@hks.harvard.edu

May 17

Von Neumann and the Origin of Life

Hyman Hartman
MIT Research Affiliate Department of Earth, Atmosphere and Planetary Sciences
Add to Calendar 2018-05-17 19:00:00 2018-05-17 21:00:00 America/New_York Von Neumann and the Origin of Life IEEE Computer Society and GBC/ACM7:00 PM, Thursday, 17 May 2018MIT Room 32-G449 (Kiva)Von Neumann and the Origin of Life Hyman HartmanThis talk will be webcast on the MIT CSAIL Youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYs2iUgksAhgoidZwEAimmg/live beginning at7pm.We will outline a historical solution to the Origin of Life based on the Origin and Evolution of the Genetic Code and the Origin and Evolution of Metabolism mediated by replicating Iron -Rich Clays. This is a historical reconstruction.Biological research is in crisis, and in Alan Turing's work there is much to guide us. The most interesting connection with biology, in my view, is in Turing's most important paper: 'On computable numbers with an application to the Entscheidungsproblem', published in 1936, when Turing was just 24. Computable numbers are defined as those whose decimals are calculable by finite means. Turing introduced what became known as the Turing machine to formalize the Origin of the digital computer.Von Neumann's Kinematic Self Replicating Machines: Turing's ideas were carried further in the 1940s by mathematician and engineer John von Neumann, who conceived of a 'constructor' machine capable of assembling another according to a description. A universal constructor with its own description would build a machine like itself. To complete the task, the universal constructor needs to copy its description and insert the copy into the offspring machine. Von Neumann noted that if the copying machine made errors, these 'mutations' would provide inheritable changes in the progeny.Sidney Brenner: Nature 482,461(23 February 2012)The Body of the Talk: 1) Cellular Automata according to Von Neumann and Ulam. 2) Probabilistic Cellular Automata 3) Ising Model 4) Spin glasses 5) Computers and the Brain according to Von Neumann 6) Evolution and Machine Learning the Valient wayIn summary: Life began as a spin Glass and evolved into the Universal Turing Machine/ Von Neumann constructorHyman Hartman was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He received his B.Sc with honors In Biochemistry from McGill University (1957) and his PhD in Biochemistry from Columbia University (1964). He began his studies on the Origin of Life by publishing two pioneering papers in 1974 on the Evolution of the Genetic Code and the Origin and Evolution of Metabolism. These papers were based on the Clay theory for the Origin of Life. He edited a book with Graham Cairns-Smith entitled Clay Minerals and the Origin of Life.(1987). He was on the Grant Board for NASA Exobiology Division and he was a co-editor with Jim Lawless and Phil Morrison on the book Search for the Universal Ancestors published by NASA. He and Temple Smith (Boston University) have been studying the Bioinformatics of the Ribosomal Proteins and the Aminoacyl-tRNA Synthetases. These studies have allowed them to reconstruct the Origin and Evolution of the Translational Apparatus and the Origin and Evolution of the Genetic Code. He is also active with a group in the University of Kentucky and McGill University studying the De Novo synthesis of Clay as catalyzed by Amino acids and Dicarboxylic acids. 32-G449 Belfer sarah_donahue@hks.harvard.edu

June 21

Add to Calendar 2018-06-21 19:00:00 2018-06-21 21:00:00 America/New_York Drones: Where Are We Now, Where Are We Headed? Drones: Where Are We Now, Where Are We Headed?Shane Clark and Kyle Usbek, RaytheonDrones have become a fixture in the consumer electronics space, not only for hobbyists, but also for applications such as cinematography and agriculture. At the same time, they have become a cause for concern to privacy advocates, regulators, and military forces worldwide. The promise and risks of drones are often in the news, but the discussion generally fixates on drones as flying cameras or small payload carriers. This view undersells the significance of drones, which are already autonomous computers. Drones present a number of research and application opportunities and challenges, particularly considering their emerging networking and collaboration.In this talk we will give an overview of the current state of inexpensive, off-the-shelf drone technology and consider some of those coming opportunities and challenges. We are currently conducting research addressing some of these problems including effective coordination, distributed tasking, and, privacy. Much of this work is integrated with a widely deployed tool that integrates drone tasking and situation awareness, allowing us to address practical logistical and operational issues. We will also talk about our efforts in fielding large numbers of drones. All of this research is part of the broader effort to transform these flying toys into swarms that can operate semi-autonomously far beyond a user's line of sight or direct control. Dr. Shane Clark is a scientist in the Distributed Systems group at BBN Technologies. He serves as the Principal Investigator for projects in the areas of autonomous, secure, and resilient distributed systems. Dr. Clark holds a Doctorate in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.Kyle Usbeck is a scientist and software engineer at BBN Technologies. There, he functions as the Principal Investigator for several projects conducting research and development on airborne networks, aggregate programming, and commercial off the shelf small unmanned aerial systems. Mr. Usbeck holds Masters of Science and Bachelors of Science degrees in Computer Science from Drexel University.This joint meeting of the Boston Chapter of the IEEE Computer Society and GBC/ACM will be held in MIT Room 32-G449 (the Kiva conference room on the 4th floor of the Stata Center, buildng 32 on MIT maps) . You can see it on this map of the MIT campus.Up-to-date information about this and other talks is available online at http://ewh.ieee.org/r1/boston/computer/. You can sign up to receive updated status information about this talk and informational emails about future talks at http://mailman.mit.edu/mailman/listinfo/ieee-cs, our self-administered mailing list. Seminar Room G449 (Patil/Kiva) Belfer sarah_donahue@hks.harvard.edu