UTCS Colloquium/AI: Jim Larus Microsoft Research Singularity: Rethinking the Software Stack ACES 2.302 Monday November 12 2007 11:00 a.m.

Contact Name: 
Jenna Whitney
Nov 12, 2007 11:00am - 12:00pm

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Type of Talk: UTCS Colloquium/AI

Speaker/Affiliation: Jim Larus/

Microsoft Research

Date/Time: Monday November 12 2007 11:00 a.m.

Location: ACES 2.302

Host: Jim Browne

Talk Title:

Singularity: Rethinking the Software Stack

Talk Abstract:

operating system embodies a collection of design decisions
%ADsome expli

cit some implicit. Contemporary operating systems
%ADWindows Linux Ma

c OS X and BSD%AD share a large number of design
decisions. This commo

nality is not entirely accidental as these systems
are all rooted in O

S architectures and development tools of the late
1960s and early 1970s

. While some design decisions have withstood
the test of time others h

ave aged less gracefully.

The Singularity project started in 2003 to
re-examine the design decisions
and increasingly obvious shortcomings

of existing systems and software
stacks including: wide-spread security
vulnerabilities; unexpected
interactions among applications; failure

s caused by errant extensions
plug-ins and drivers and a perceived l

ack of robustness. We believe
that many of these problems are attributa

ble to systems that have not
evolved far beyond the computer architectu

res and programming
languages of the 1960s and 1970s.

In the Sin

gularity project we have built a new operating system a new

g language and new software verification tools. The Singularity

ng system incorporates a new software architecture based on
software is

olation of processes. Our programming language Sing# is an
extension o

f C# that provides verifiable first-class support for OS

primitives as well as strong support for systems
programming and code f


Speaker Bio:
James Larus is a Research Area Manager for
programming languages and tools in Microsoft Research where he manages th

e Human Interaction in Programming Runtime Analysis and Design Software R

eliability Research and Concurrency Research groups and co-leads the Singu

larity research project. He joined Microsoft Research as a Senior Researche

r in 1998 to start and for five years lead the Software Productivity Tool

s (SPT) group one of the most innovative and productive groups in the area
of program analysis and programming tools. Results of this group''s resear

ch have shipped in Microsoft products such as the Static Driver Verifier an

d FX/Cop as well as being widely used within the company.

Before jo

ining Microsoft Larus was an Associate Professor of Computer Science at th

e University of Wisconsin-Madison where he published approximately 60 rese

arch papers and co-led the Wisconsin Wind Tunnel (WWT) research project wit

h Professors Mark Hill and David Wood. His research covered a number of are

as: including new and far more efficient techniques for measuring and recor

ding executing programs%92 behavior tools for analyzing and manipulating c

ompiled and linked programs new programming languages tools for verifying
program correctness and techniques for compiler analysis and optimization

. WWT was a DARPA and NSF-funded project investigated new approaches to sim

ulating building and programming parallel shared-memory computers.

Larus received his MS and PhD in Computer Science from the University of C

alifornia Berkeley in 1989 and an AB in Applied Mathematics from Harvard

in 1980. At Berkeley Larus developed one of the first systems to analyze c

omplete Lisp programs and determine how to best execute them on a parallel


Larus has been an active contributor to the programming la

nguages and computer architecture communities. He has published many papers
and served on numerous program committees and NSF and NRC panels. Larus be

came an ACM Fellow in 2006.