UTCS Colloquium/Programming Languages-Steve Blackburn/Australian National University: "Abstraction Without Guilt," PAI 3.14, Monday, October 26, 12:00 noon

Contact Name: 
Jenna Whitney
Oct 26, 2009 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Type of Talk: UTCS Colloquium/ Programming Languages


er/Affiliation: Steve Blackburn/Australian National University


me: Monday, October 26, 12:00 noon

Location: PAI 3.14

Host: Kat

hryn McKinley

Talk Title: Abstraction Without Guilt

Talk Abstract

While on the one hand systems programmers strive for reliability, secu

rity, and maintainability, on the other hand they depend on performance a

nd transparent access to low-level primitives. Abstraction is the key tool

for enabling the former but it typically obstructs the latter.
This talk

addresses this conundrum from three distinct angles; as a producer, a con

sumer, and an evaluator of high level programming languages, and is based
on ten years of experience in each of these roles. I will discuss my exper

ience as a producer, engineering a low-overhead, highly-expressive Java d

ialect suitable for systems programming. I will discuss my experience as a

consumer, using Java and object oriented programming principles to build a
JVM and memory management subsystem. Key to both of these is the role as a

n evaluator, measuring and understanding the complex behavior of managed r

untime systems. The phrase "abstraction without guilt", coined by Ken Kenn

edy, nicely captures our philosophy on systems building.

Speaker Bio:

Steve Blackburn is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer

Science at Australian National University.
His research focus is on progr

amming language implementation, and in particular the performance of moder

n programming languages on modern architectures. He is interested in under

standing, measuring and addressing the narrowing memory bottleneck, and t

he characteristics of modern languages and architectures that exacerbate th

is problem. His service includes numerous program committees, such as ASP

LOS, OOPSLA, ISMM, VEE, and PLDI, and the program chair of ISMM 2008.

He has led the development tools and benchmarks in wide use: the MMTk garba

ge collection toolkit and the DaCapo Java Benchmarks. He is on the Jikes

RVM Steering committee and leads the DaCapo Benchmark Suite consortium.