2020 Turing Lecture, "*Abstractions, Their Algorithms, and Their Compilers*

2020 Turing Lecture, "*Abstractions, Their Algorithms, and Their Compilers*

de Daniel Calegari -
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Turing Lecture: “Abstractions, Their Algorithms, and Their Compilers” with Alfred Aho and Jeffrey Ullman
*Thursday, July 22 at 12:00 PM ET/9:00 AM PT*
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by the recipients of the 2020 ACM A.M. Turing Award: *Alfred Aho* and *Jeffrey Ullman*

(The talk will be recorded and will be made available on demand for anyone who registers.)

Computational thinking is an essential skill in the information age. We will talk about the core of computational thinking: abstractions and their uses. We begin with a taxonomy of abstractions based on their intended purpose and identify four different kinds of abstractions that are commonly used in computing. We look at three areas of computer science in which abstractions play a vital role. Compiler design is one of the first areas of computer science where powerful abstractions led to important improvements in the technology. More recently, the need to deal with increasingly large datasets has led to the development of new abstractions and increased the importance of old ones. Finally, we examine an abstraction that supports quantum computation and its potential for new computing capabilities. We close with some problems regarding computing abstractions that may lead to advances in the future.

*Duration*: 75 minutes (including audience Q&A)

*Alfred Aho*, /Columbia University/
Alfred V. Aho is the Lawrence Gussman Professor Emeritus of Computer
Science at Columbia University. Aho is well known for his many papers
and books on algorithms and data structures, programming languages,
compilers, and the foundations of computer science. His research
interests have included programming languages, compilers, algorithms,
software engineering, and quantum computation. He’s a recipient of the
ACM A. M. Turing Award and the IEEE John von Neumann Medal. Aho is a
Member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and of the American
Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a Fellow of the American Association
for the Advancement of Science, ACM, Bell Labs, IEEE, and the Royal
Society of Canada. Aho has served as Vice President of the Computing
Sciences Research Center at Bell Labs, the lab that invented UNIX, C,
and C++. Professor Aho also served as General Manager of the Information
Sciences and Technologies Research Laboratory at Bellcore (Telcordia).

*Jeffrey Ullman*, /Stanford University/
Jeffrey Ullman is the Stanford W. Ascherman Professor of Engineering
(Emeritus) in the Department of Computer Science at Stanford University
and CEO of Gradiance Corp. Prior to his appointment at Stanford, he was
a member of the technical staff of Bell Laboratories, and on the faculty
of Princeton University between. He later served as chair of the
Stanford Computer Science Department. Ullman was elected to the National
Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the
National Academy of Sciences, and has held Guggenheim and Einstein
Fellowships. He has received the SIGMOD Contributions Award, the ACM
Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award, the Knuth Prize, the
SIGMOD E. F. Codd Innovations Award, the IEEE von Neumann Medal, the NEC
C&C Foundation Prize, and the ACM A.M. Turing Award. He is the author of
16 books, including books on database systems, data mining, compilers,
automata theory, and algorithms.

*John L. Hennessy*, /Stanford University/
John L. Hennessy is the James F. and Mary Lynn Gibbons Professor of
Computer Science and Electrical Engineering in the Stanford School of
Engineering, and the Shriram Family Director of Stanford’s
Knight-Hennessy Scholars, the largest fully endowed graduate-level
scholarship program in the world. He is chairman of Alphabet and serves
as a trustee of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Formerly the
tenth president of Stanford, he is also a computer scientist who
co-founded MIPS Computer Systems and Atheros Communications. John is the
coauthor (with David Patterson) of two internationally used textbooks in
computer architecture. His honors include the Medal of Honor of the
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the ACM A.M. Turing
Award (jointly with David Patterson), and the BBVA Foundation Frontiers
of Knowledge Award (jointly with David Patterson).