Artifact Details

Title

Lamport, Leslie oral history, part 1

Catalog Number

102717182

Type

Text

Date

2016-08-12

Contributor

Lamport, Leslie, Interviewee
Levin, Roy, Interviewer

Publisher

Computer History Museum

Place of Publication

Mountain View, CA

Extent

40 p.

Format

PDF

Description

Leslie Lamport pioneered many of the foundational principles of distributed computing. In this two-part interview, he discusses his early interest in mathematics, physics, and computing, and the interplay of these subjects that has continued throughout his long career. He provides the context for some of his most famous work, including the Bakery Algorithm, his seminal paper on the use of state machines to maintain coherence in a distributed system, his Paxos distributed agreement protocol, and his techniques for specifying algorithms and verifying their correctness. In several cases, the importance of these ideas was not recognized widely for years – sometimes decades – after they were published, but they have become fundamental to modern distributed computing systems.

In this interview, Lamport also comments on the opportunities for technical impact that he found by working in corporate research labs while collaborating with colleagues in universities. He talks about the cultures of labs at SRI, Digital Equipment Corporation, and Microsoft that provided the stimulation for his influential ideas and creations.

Category

Transcription

Subject

Distributed computing; Algorithm specification; Program verification; Mutual exclusion; Fault tolerance; Concurrency; Temporal Logic of Actions

Credit

Computer History Museum

Lot Number

X7884.2017