TitleLamport, Leslie oral history, part 1
|Lamport, Leslie, Interviewee|
|Levin, Roy, Interviewer|
PublisherComputer History Museum
Place of PublicationMountain View, CA
DescriptionLeslie 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.