Leslie Lamport

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Leslie Lamport

Born February 7, 1941 (1941-02-07) (age 68)
New York City, New York
Fields Computer Science
Institutions Microsoft Research
Digital Equipment Corporation
SRI International
Alma mater Brandeis University
Doctoral advisor Richard Palais
Known for LaTeX
Byzantine fault tolerance
Paxos algorithm
Notable awards Dijkstra Prize
IEEE John von Neumann Medal

Leslie Lamport (born February 7, 1941 in New York City) is an American computer scientist. A graduate of the Bronx High School of Science, he received a B.S. in mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1960, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in mathematics from Brandeis University, respectively in 1963 and 1972.[1] His dissertation was about singularities in analytic partial differential equations.[2] Lamport is best known for his seminal work in distributed systems and as the initial developer of the document preparation system LaTeX.[3]

Professionally, Lamport worked as a computer scientist at Massachusetts Computer Associates, SRI International, Digital Equipment Corporation, and Compaq. In 2001 he joined Microsoft Research at Mountain View, California.[1]

Lamport’s research contributions have laid the foundations of the theory of distributed systems. Among his most notable papers are

  • “Time, Clocks, and the Ordering of Events in a Distributed System”,[4] which received the PODC Influential Paper Award in 2000,[5]
  • “The Byzantine Generals Problem”,[6]
  • “Distributed Snapshots: Determining Global States of a Distributed System”[7] and
  • “The Part-Time Parliament”.[8]

These papers relate to such concepts as logical clocks (and the happened-before relationship) and Byzantine failures. They are among the most cited papers in the field of computer science[9] and describe algorithms to solve many fundamental problems in distributed systems, including:

Lamport is also known for his work on temporal logic, where he introduced the temporal logic of actions (TLA).[10][11] Among his more recent contributions is TLA+, a logic for specifying and reasoning about concurrent and reactive systems, that he describes in the book “Specifying Systems: The TLA+ Language and Tools for Hardware and Software Engineers”[12] and defines as a “quixotic attempt to overcome engineers' antipathy towards mathematics”.[13]

Lamport received four honorary doctorates from European universities: University of Rennes and Christian Albrechts University of Kiel in 2003, EPFL in 2004 and University of Lugano in 2006.[1] In 2004, he received the IEEE Piore Award.[14] In 2005, the paper “Reaching Agreement in the Presence of Faults”[15] received the Dijkstra Prize.[16]

Lamport is the author of the aphorism:[17]

A distributed system is one in which the failure of a computer you didn't even know existed can render your own computer unusable.

[edit] See also

  • Lamport signature - The Lamport one-time signature scheme is a method for constructing a digital signature.
  • S/KEY - a one-time password system sometimes referred to as Lamport's scheme

[edit] References

  1. ^ a b c Lamport, Leslie (2006-12-19). "My Writings". http://research.microsoft.com/users/lamport/pubs/pubs.html. Retrieved on 2007-02-02. 
  2. ^ Lamport, Leslie (1972). The Analytic Cauchy Problem with Singular Data. http://research.microsoft.com/users/lamport/pubs/pubs.html#thesis. Retrieved on 2007-02-02. 
  3. ^ Lamport, Leslie (1986). "LaTeX: A Document Preparation System". Addison-Wesley. http://research.microsoft.com/users/lamport/pubs/pubs.html#latex. Retrieved on 2007-02-02. 
  4. ^ Lamport, Leslie (July 1978). "Time, Clocks and the Ordering of Events in a Distributed System". Communications of the ACM 21 (7): 558–565. doi:10.1145/359545.359563. http://research.microsoft.com/users/lamport/pubs/pubs.html#time-clocks. Retrieved on 2007-02-02. 
  5. ^ Neiger, Gil (2003-01-23). "PODC Influential Paper Award: 2000". http://www.podc.org/influential/2000.html. Retrieved on 2007-02-02. 
  6. ^ Lamport, Leslie; Robert Shostak, Marshall Pease (July 1982). "The Byzantine Generals Problem". ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems 4 (3): 382–401. doi:10.1145/357172.357176. http://research.microsoft.com/users/lamport/pubs/pubs.html#byz. Retrieved on 2007-02-02. 
  7. ^ Chandy, K. Mani; Leslie Lamport (February 1985). "Distributed Snapshots: Determining Global States of a Distributed System". ACM Transactions on Computer Systems 3 (1): 63–75. doi:10.1145/214451.214456. http://research.microsoft.com/users/lamport/pubs/pubs.html#chandy. Retrieved on 2007-02-02. 
  8. ^ Lamport, Leslie (May 1998). "The Part-Time Parliament". ACM Transactions on Computer Systems 16 (2): 133–169. doi:10.1145/279227.279229. http://research.microsoft.com/users/lamport/pubs/pubs.html#lamport-paxos. Retrieved on 2007-02-02. 
  9. ^ "Most cited articles in Computer Science". 2006-09. http://citeseer.ist.psu.edu/articles.html. Retrieved on 2007-10-08. 
  10. ^ Lamport, Leslie (1990-04-01). A Temporal Logic of Actions. http://research.microsoft.com/users/lamport/pubs/pubs.html#old-tla-src. Retrieved on 2007-02-02. 
  11. ^ Lamport, Leslie (May 1994). "The Temporal Logic of Actions". ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems 16 (3): 872–923. doi:10.1145/177492.177726. http://research.microsoft.com/users/lamport/pubs/pubs.html#lamport-actions. Retrieved on 2007-02-02. 
  12. ^ Lamport, Leslie (2002). Specifying Systems: The TLA+ Language and Tools for Hardware and Software Engineers. Addison-Wesley. ISBN 0-321-14306-X. http://research.microsoft.com/users/lamport/tla/book.html. Retrieved on 2007-02-02. 
  13. ^ "The International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks keynote speaker biography". http://2004.dsn.org/keynote.html. Retrieved on 2007-03-06. 
  14. ^ "IEEE Emanuel R. Piore Award Recipients". http://www.ieee.org/portal/pages/about/awards/pr/piorepr.html. Retrieved on 2007-02-02. 
  15. ^ Pease, Marshall; Robert Shostak, Leslie Lamport (April 1980). "Reaching Agreement in the Presence of Faults". Journal of the Association for Computing Machinery 27 (2). http://research.microsoft.com/users/lamport/pubs/pubs.html#reaching. Retrieved on 2007-02-02. 
  16. ^ "Edsger W. Dijkstra Prize in Distributed Computing: 2005". http://www.podc.org/dijkstra/2005.html. Retrieved on 2007-02-02. 
  17. ^ Lamport, Leslie (1987-05-28). "Distribution e-mail". http://research.microsoft.com/users/lamport/pubs/distributed-system.txt. Retrieved on 2007-04-16. 

[edit] External links

NAME Lamport, Leslie
SHORT DESCRIPTION American computer scientist
DATE OF BIRTH 1941-02-07
PLACE OF BIRTH New York City, New York
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