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Appel’s Joint


Doug Hulette, News at Princeton, Computer scientists launch campaign to guarantee bug- free software, here.  DeepSpec just proving stuff about variable precision roundoff control is a big deal if you have a clue about your FP performance. BIG DEAL. For the robot taxis this means you have prove the robot controls are compatible with your life utility function before you get in the taxi. You’ll have to take Andy Yao and Robert Tarjan on each of your taxi rides to prove the robot is not going to run you into a tree while swerving to protect the life of a squirrel.

 Funded by a $10 million, five-year grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Appel and fellow researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, Yale University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology plan to develop integrated tools to eliminate uncertainty from the complex task of software development. A goal beyond the core research is to reshape the industry itself by erasing the gap between researchers, who have made significant strides in the fight against bugs, and educators who are teaching the next generation of programmers and engineers.

“In our interconnected world, software bugs and security vulnerabilities pose enormous costs and risks,” said Appel, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Computer Science. “When you press the accelerator pedal or the brake in a modern car, for instance, you’re really just suggesting to some computer program that you want to speed up or slow down. The computer had better get it right.”


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