'Proving computers eventually do good'

16 March 2010

Time: 2:30pm
Venue: The Octagon, Queens' Building, Mile End

Computer programs can fail in two ways: the software can crash, or it can just be left hanging.

Although crashes are frustrating, at least you know to take some drastic action - like a reboot! Hangs, however, are psychologically different. There is always the lingering possibility that you are simply being impatient and should wait a while longer for the machine to respond.

In this talk, Queen Mary's award winning Professor Byron Cook will explain how special mathematical techniques have now been developed to certify that software cannot crash. While many experts consider it impossible to automatically prove a computer programme can't hang, Professor Cook will discuss how recent research could make this dream a reality too.

Byron Cook is Professor of Computer Science at Queen Mary, University of London and a principal researcher at Microsoft's laboratory at Cambridge University. He has recently been named the winner of the 2009 Roger Needham Award by the British Computer Society, in recognition of his distinguished research contribution in computer science.


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