DLS: Scalable Intelligent Systems by 2025 (Carl Hewitt)

Event details

  • When: 13th November 2018 09:30 - 15:30
  • Series: Distinguished Lectures Series
  • Format: Distinguished lecture

Venue: The Old Course Hotel (Hall of Champions)

Timetable:

9:30 Lecture 1
10:30 Break with Coffee
11:15 Lecture 2
12:15 Break for Lunch (not provided)
14:15 Lecture 3
15:15 Discussion

Lecture 1: Introduction to Scalable Intelligent Systems

Lecture 2: Foundations for Scalable Intelligent Systems

Lecture 3: Implications of Scalable Intelligent Systems

Speaker Bio:

Professor Carl Hewitt is the creator (together with his students and other colleagues) of the Actor Model of computation, which influenced the development of the Scheme programming language and the π calculus, and inspired several other systems and programming languages. The Actor Model is in widespread industrial use including eBay, Microsoft, and Twitter. For his doctoral thesis, he designed Planner, the first programming language based on pattern-invoked procedural plans.

Professor Hewitt’s recent research centers on the area of Inconsistency Robustness, i.e., system performance in the face of continual, pervasive inconsistencies (a shift from the previously dominant paradigms of inconsistency denial and inconsistency elimination, i.e., to sweep inconsistencies under the rug). ActorScript and the Actor Model on which it is based can play an important role in the implementation of more inconsistency-robust information systems. Hewitt is an advocate in the emerging campaign against mandatory installation of backdoors in the Internet of Things.

Hewitt is Board Chair of iRobust™, an international scientific society for the promotion of the field of Inconsistency Robustness. He is also Board Chair of Standard IoT™, an international standards organization for the Internet of Things, which is using the Actor Model to unify and generalize emerging standards for IoT. He has been a Visiting Professor at Stanford University and Keio University and is Emeritus in the EECS department at MIT.

Abstract:

A project to build the technology stack outlined in these lectures can bring Scalable Intelligent Systems to fruition by 2025. Scalable Intelligent Systems have the following characteristics:

  • Interactively acquire information from video, Web pages, hologlasses, online data bases, sensors, articles, human speech and gestures, etc.
  • Real-time integration of massive pervasively inconsistent information
  • Scalability in all important dimensions meaning that there are no hard barriers to continual improvement in the above areas
  • Close human collaboration with hologlasses for secure mobile interaction. Computers alone cannot implement the above capabilities
  • No closed-form algorithmic solution is possible to implement the above capabilities

Technology stack for Scalable Intelligent Systems is outlined below:

  • Experiences Hologlasses: Collaboration, Gestures, Animations, Video
  • Matrix Discourse, Rhetoric, and Narration
  • Citadels No single point of failure
  • Massive Inconsistency Robust Ontology Propositions, Goals, Plans, Descriptions, Statistics, Narratives
  • Actor Services Hardware and Software
  • Actor Many Cores Non-sequential, Every-word-tagged, Faraday cage Crypto, Stacked Carbon Nanotube

For example, pain management could greatly benefit from Scalable Intelligent Systems. Complexities of dealing with pain have led to the current opioid crisis. According to Eric Rodgers, PhD., director of the VA’s Office of Evidence Based Practice:

“The use of opioids has changed tremendously since the 1990s, when we first started formulating a plan for guidelines. The concept then was that opioid therapy was an underused strategy for helping our patients and we were trying to get our providers to use this type of therapy more. But as time went on, we became more aware of the harms of opioid therapy and the development of pill mills. The problems got worse.

It’s now become routine for providers to check the state databases to see if there’s multi-sourcing — getting prescriptions from other providers. Providers are also now supposed to use urine drug screenings and, if there are unusual results, to do a confirmation. [For every death from an opioid overdose] there are 10 people who have a problem with opioid use disorder or addiction. And for every addicted person, we have another 10 who are misusing their medication.”

Pain management requires much more than just prescribing opioids, which are often critical for short-term and less often longer-term use. [Coker 2015; Friedberg 2012; Holt 2017; Marchant 2017; McKinney 2015; Spiegel 2018; Tedesco, et. al. 2017; White 2017] Organizational aspects play an important role in pain management. [Fagerhaugh and Strauss 1977]

MSc and Honours receptions 2018

After a busy week of orientation, advising and module talks, MSc and Honours students are pictured socialising during their welcome receptions on Tuesday and Thursday evening last week. The popular and lively events highlight the friendly student community within the School and provide a chance to chat to staff and students before a semester of hard work begins.

Images courtesy of Xu Zhu and Sylvia Laesecke

Graduation Reception June 2018

Congratulations to our Senior Honours Class of 2018, MSci Honours students and our PhD students Dr Adam Barwell, Dr Martin McCaffery, Dr Gonzalo Mendez and Dr Long Thai, who graduated last month. Students were invited to a reception in the School prior to the ceremony, to celebrate their achievement with staff, friends and family.

Our graduates will move on to a wide variety of interesting and challenging employment and further study opportunities, and we wish them all well with their future careers.

Graduation Reception: Wednesday 27th June 2018

The School of Computer Science, will be hosting a graduation reception on Wednesday 27th June, in the Jack Cole building, between 10.30 and 12.30. Graduating students and guests are invited to the School to celebrate with a glass of fizz. Computer Science degrees will be conferred in an afternoon ceremony in the Younger Hall. A class photo will be taken at 11am in the Jack Cole building. Family and friends who can’t make it on the day can watch a live broadcast of graduation.

Graduation receptions have been held in the school from 2010 and some class photos have been captured for posterity.

Class photo 2010

Class photo 2011

Class photo 2014

Class Photo 2015

Class photo 2016

Class photo 2017

Senior Honours Poster and Demo Sessions

Our talented Senior Honours students are pictured presenting posters and software artefacts to second markers, interested staff and students last week. The impressive range of year-long projects included, plagiarism detection tools, augmented books with AR Visualsiation, Network science in GPUs, evaluating Full coverage display, a Blockchain construction toolkit, Intrusion detection systems evaluation and many more demonstrating cutting edge research areas. The successful session was organised by Kasim Terzic, projects coordinator in the School. We wish our students well with their forthcoming exams and look forward to seeing them at June graduation.

Images courtesy of Lisa Dow and Saleem Bhatti

DLS: Functional Foundations for Operating Systems

Event details

  • When: 13th February 2018 09:30 - 15:15
  • Where: Byre Theatre
  • Series: Distinguished Lectures Series, Systems Seminars Series
  • Format: Distinguished lecture

Biography: Dr. Anil Madhavapeddy is a University Lecturer at the Cambridge Computer Laboratory, and a Fellow of Pembroke College where he is Director of Studies for Computer Science. He has worked in industry (NetApp, Citrix, Intel), academia (Cambridge, Imperial, UCLA) and startups (XenSource, Unikernel Systems, Docker) over the past two decades. At Cambridge, he directs the OCaml Labs research group which delves into the intersection of functional programming and systems, and is a maintainer on many open source projects such as OpenBSD, OCaml, Xen and Docker.

Timetable
9:30: Introduction by Professor Saleem Bhatti
9:35: Lecture 1
10:35: Break with tea and coffee
11:15: Lecture 2
12:15: Lunch (not provided)
14:00: Lecture 3
15:00: Close by Professor Simon Dobson

Lecture 1: Rebuilding Operating Systems with Functional Principles
The software stacks that we deploy across computing devices in the world are based on shaky foundations. Millions of lines of C code crammed into monolithic operating system kernels, mixed with layers of scheduling logic, wrapped in a hypervisor, and served with a dose of nominal security checking on the side. In this talk, I will describe an alternative approach to constructing reliable, specialised systems with a familiar developer experience. We will use modular functional programming to build several services such as a secure web server that have no reliance on conventional operating systems, and explain how to express their logic in a high level, functional fashion. By the end of it, everyone in the audience should be able to build their own so-called unikernels!

Lecture 2: The First Billion Real Deployments of Unikernels
Unikernels offer a path to a more sane basis for driving applications on hardware, but will they ever be adopted for real? For the past fifteen years, an intrepid group of adventurers have been developing the MirageOS application stack in the OCaml programming language. Along the way, it has been deployed in many unusual industrial situations that I will describe in this talk, starting with the Docker container stack, then moving onto the Xen hypervisor that drives billions of servers worldwide. I will explain the challenges of using functional programming in industry, but also the rewards of seeing successful deployments quietly working in mission-critical areas of systems software.

Lecture 3: Programming the Next Trillion Embedded Devices
The unikernel approach of compiling highly specialised applications from high-level source code is perfectly suited to programming the trillions of embedded devices that are making their way around the world. However, this raises new challenges from a programming language perspective: how can we run on a spectrum of devices from the very tiny (with just kilobytes of RAM) to specialised hardware? I will describe the new frontier of functional metaprogramming (programs which generate more programs) that we are using to compile a single application to many heterogenous devices, and a Git-like model to coordinate across thousands of nodes. I will conclude with by motivating the need for a next-generation operating system to power new exciting applications such as augmented and virtual reality in our situated environments, and remove the need for constant centralised coordination via the Internet.

Computer Science Student Representatives 2017

Congratulations to our student representatives for 2017/8, elected by their peers last month. Our Reps are integral to the proactive communication channel between staff and the students and also chair and run the Staff-Student Consultative Committee (SSCC) held each semester within the School.


The reps are pictured outside the Jack Cole Building, after this semester’s SSCC meeting and are (from left to right)

  • Lewis Mazzei (1st year, minutes)
  • Beatrice Olivera (1st year, minutes)
  • Jamie Bell (2nd year, careers)
  • ​Gergely Flamich (School President)
  • Arnold Haidu (MSc, library)
  • Stacey Izmaylova (3rd year, social)
  • Xu Zhu (PhD, Postgrad)
  • Keno Schwalb (4th year)
  • Paul McKay (Evening)

Image courtesy of Ula Rustamova

Computer Science hosts J.P. Morgan

Following on from a successful visit last year, J.P. Morgan returned to the School of Computer Science last week, to promote tech careers, internships and other student opportunities.

Staff from the company and CS students are pictured viewing project challenges and their solutions highlighted in their technology showcase whilst discussing future career openings and enjoying the complimentary pizza.

J.P. Morgan is a popular destination for our graduates demonstrated by four Alumni (Maria McParland, Nada Kartouch, Conner Somerville and Peter Cockroft) who were part of the team representing the company at the successful event.

Gala Malbasic: Young Software Engineer of the Year 2017

Congratulations to Gala Malbasic who won Young Software Engineer of the Year 2017. The awards organised by ScotlandIS were presented at the ScotSoft Awards Dinner yesterday evening. The Young Software Engineer of the Year awards are awarded to the best undergraduate software projects from students studying computer science and software engineering in Scotland.

Gala’s project, Leap Up: The Keyboard Renaissance, set out to to make keyboard interaction faster and less complicated and involved creating a hardware prototype, using software to ensure optimal sensor performance and implemented a large gesture set for use within the system prototype. The final year project was supervised by Professor Aaron Quigley.

Judged against the level of innovation planning & organisation, technical difficulty, commercial and/or social relevance, quality of engineering quality of presentation and level of knowledge & previous research, Judges considered Gala’s project to be exceptional.

As overall winner, Gala received a cheque for £2500 from Sopra Steria, and a trophy from ScotlandIS.

Watch Gala describing her project on YouTube.

Read more about the awards at FutureScot: Women sweep the board at Scottish software engineering awards

Photos courtesy of Aaron Quigley.

Gala Malbasic: Finalist in Scottish Software Engineer of the Year

Congratulations to St Andrews student Gala Malbasic, who has been selected as one of the finalists in the Young Software Engineer of the Year Award 2017.

The Young Software Engineer of the Year Awards are given for the best undergraduate software projects completed by students studying computer science and software engineering in Scotland.

Gala graduated in Computer Science from St Andrews earlier this year, her Major Software Project – Leap Up: The New Keyboard Renaissance, incorporated novel uses of the Leap Motion sensor and was supervised by Professor Aaron Quigley.

Previous finalists and prize winners have included,
Simone Ivan Conte, Sam Elliott,Thomas Grimes, Alistair Scott, Craig Paul, Angus MacDonald, Ben Catherall and Graeme Bell. The number of finalists is further testament to the quality of talented students graduating from the School of Computer Science at St Andrews.

The winners of this year’s award will be announced on 5th October 2017!