Jan 24th, 2014, 3:00 pm in Huxley 345

The Fast and The Dangerous: Safer Parallel Programming with Types

Parallel programming is notoriously difficult. Years of research had led to a plethora of models and languages for parallel programming, yet the majority of the scientific computing community is stuck with Message-Passing Interface, a standard designed 20 years ago. MPI is known for its robustness but not for its user-friendliness, and communication errors are often hidden in plain sight. Session Types is a formal system that uses types to abstract interaction patterns and making sure message-passing communication do not go wrong, combining session types and MPI seems a sensible way to make parallel programming but is it really that simple? In this talk, I will introduce session types in the context of parallel programming and what it brings to making parallel programming easier and safer.

Nicholas Ng is a final year PhD student working on applying the theory of Session Types to guaranteeing safety and correctness of communication aspects of parallel programming. Previously he was the student representative for Faculty of Engineering in the Graduate Students' Union and a PhD student rep for the Department of Computing. He enjoys free food and spending time with computers. He is a Facebook addict