The renowned computer scientist Leslie Lamport (Microsoft Corporation, USA) gives a lecture at the Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) in Amsterdam on 16 June. Lamport is known for his work in the fields of distributed systems and program verification. He also designed LaTeX, a widely used document formatting system. His lecture, which starts at 16.00 hours, is entitled ‘The PlusCal Algorithm Language’. According to Lamport algorithms should be described in a mathematical language, such as PlusCal. The lecture is of interest to programmers and software engineers.
Algorithms are different from computer programs and are better expressed by mathematical objects like sets and graphs than with programming languages. Until now, the only simple alternative was pseudo-code, which cannot be compiled or executed. Lamport proposes PlusCal, an algorithm language based on TLA+ (Temporal Logic of Actions). A PlusCal algorithm is automatically translated into a TLA+ specification that can be checked by the TLC model checker. Lamport argues that PlusCal makes pseudo-code obsolete.
Leslie Lamport has made several fundamental contributions to distributed systems, fault-tolerant computing, cryptography and program verification. For his research Lamport received numerous awards, including the IEEE John von Neumann Medal. The Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica also conducts research in program verification. It is part of ‘Software as Service’, an important research area for CWI.
Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica
Founded in 1946, Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) is the national research institute for mathematics and computer science in the Netherlands. It is located at Science Park Amsterdam and is part of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The institute is internationally focused and renowned. Over 150 researchers conduct pioneering research and share their acquired knowledge with society. Over 30 researchers are also employed as professors at universities. The institute has generated twenty-one spin-off companies.
Leslie Lamport's lecture starts on Thursday, 16 June at 16:00 pm in the Turing Room at Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI), Science Park 123, 1098 XG Amsterdam. Abstract: http://www.cwi.nl/events/lecture-leslie-lamport-microsoft-corporation
Picture: Ellen Gilkerson