Informatik, TU Wien

A Mathematical View of Computer Systems – Q&A

Leslie Lamport will answer questions regarding his Heidelberg Laureate Forum lecture


According to Turing Award winner Leslie Lamport, mathematics provides what he believes to be the simplest and most powerful way to describe computer systems. On May 31st, he will answer questions regarding his lecture on “A Mathematical View of Computer Systems”, which can be viewed here.

Please note that this will be a Question&Answer session only - the audience is expected to watch the lecture and prepare questions beforehand. Leslie Lamport expects questions related to the scope of the talk, e.g., on modeling computer systems, rigorous systems engineering, temporal logic of actions, and verification.


Leslie Lamport, winner of the 2013 Turing Award, received his bachelor degree from MIT in 1960 and his MA and PhD in Mathematics from Brandeis University in 1963 and 1972, respectively. Through his work, he improved the quality of real distributed systems, especially by developing important distributed algorithms: He developed the Paxos and the Bakery algorithms, and is well-known for his foundational work on Byzantine fault tolerance. In addition, he made important contributions to formal modeling and specification of computing systems and their verification, e.g., by developing the Temporal Logic of Actions (TLA+) framework. Lamport was the initial developer of the LaTeX system.
Before he started working at Microsoft Research in 2001, Lamport was employed at Massachusetts Computer Associates (1970-1977), SRI International (1977-1985) and at the Digital Equipment Corporation Systems Research Center (1985-2001).
Leslie Lamport holds five honorary doctorates and has been awarded several prizes, including among others the IEEE Piore Award (20014), the Edsger W. Dijkstra Prize in Distributed Computing (2005 and 2014), the ACM SIGOPS Hall of Fame Award (2007, 2012 and 2013) and the IEEE John von Neumann Medal (2008). He is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences (2011) and an ACM Fellow (2014).


This talk is organized by the Vienna Center for Logic and Algorithms.