Bjarne Stroustrup to receive 2018 Charles Stark Draper Prize

The National Academy of Engineering has announced that Bjarne Stroustrup will receive the 2018 Charles Start Draper Prize for Engineering.

The prize has been awarded ‘for conceptualizing and developing the C++ programming language’.

The $500,000 annual award is given to engineers whose accomplishments have significantly benefited society.

Bjarne, a graduate of the University of Cambridge Department of Computer Science and Technology, is an Honorary Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge.

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Filer software update Tuesday 9th Jan 2018

The next scheduled vulnerable period (2018-01-09 0700-1000) will be used to perform a software update on the NetApp filers elmer and eldo. Elmer is the main filer directly visible to users and eldo provides the backing store for virtual machines.

This is a fairly minor update intended to get the filers running the best supported version for our hardware. This software version has been running on the backup filer for several months.

The upgrade process exploits the redundancy inherent in the hardware to minimise disruption. There are two identical controllers, and while one is upgrading the other can continue to service clients on its behalf using the redundant paths to the shared pool of discs. Nevertheless there will be some disruption: Windows and Mac clients using CIFS are likely to be disconnected at least twice during the process, and there will be some short periods during which the NFS service does not respond, as the service is handed over from one controller to the other.

As with every filer outage, however short, there is a risk of consequential disruption to other services. In particular it is possible that Xen-based virtual machines will need to be rebooted afterwards if their virtual discs go into “read only” state. If this consequential disruption does happen, it may extend later into the day as the problem is not always immediately apparent.

People may like to know that at the time of writing, these filers have been running without interruption for 1113 days and have serviced about half a trillion NFS requests.

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Cambridge team wins The 2017 Northwestern Europe Regional Contest

Congratulations to Team Me[N]ta∭ca, winners of The 2017 Northwestern Europe Regional Contest.

NWERC 2017 is an official regional contest in the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest. It draws students from colleges and universities throughout Belgium, Luxembourg, Great Britain, Ireland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands.

Team Me[N]ta∭ca will now advance to the ACM ICPC World Finals which take place in Beijing in April 2018.

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Cambridge joins new UK Hardware Security Institute

Researchers at the University of Cambridge are part of the new £5m multi-university Research Institute to improve hardware security and reduce vulnerability to cyber threats.

Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the Research Institute in Secure Hardware and Embedded Systems (RISE) is one of four cyber security institutes in the UK and will be a global hub for research and innovation in hardware security over the next five years.

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Department’s researchers awarded a double at SPLASH 2017

Department researchers Victor Gomes, Martin Kleppmann, Dominic Mulligan, and Alastair Beresford have been awarded both a distinguished paper award and a distinguished artefact award for their paper “Verifying strong evential consistency in distributed systems” at the ACM SIGPLAN conference on Systems, Programming, Languages and Applications: Software for Humanity (SPLASH) 2017.

In this paper, the researchers investigated the correctness of algorithms for achieving data consistency in collaborative applications. Many such algorithms have been proposed in the past but later turned out to be incorrect. To rule out such mistakes in the future, Gomes et al. developed formal proofs of correctness, ensuring that data consistency is preserved in all circumstances.

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Cambridge teams triumph at the 2017 UK & Ireland Programming Contest

Cambridge teams occupied six of the top ten places (including 1st place) at this year’s UK & Ireland Programming Contest (UKIEPC).

The UKIEPC is the UK & Ireland Subregional Contest for NWERC (the Northwestern Europe European Regional Contest), of the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC).

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Annual Faculty Meeting

This year’s Annual Meeting of the Faculty will be at 14:15 on Tuesday 7
November 2017 in Lecture Theatre 1 in the William gates Building. The meeting will be followed by refreshments in the Street. All are welcome to attend.

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Stephen Dolan wins 2017 CPHC/BCS Distinguished Dissertation Award

Stephen Dolan has been named the winner of the 2017 CPHC/BCS Distinguished Dissertation Award for his dissertation ‘Algebraic subtyping’.

The Council of Professors and Heads of Computing (CPHC), in conjunction with BCS and BCS Academy of Computing, annually selects for publication the best British PhD/DPhil dissertations in computer science.

Stephen was a member of the Programming, Logic, and Semantics Group under the supervision of Professor Alan Mycroft.

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Thomas Brouwer wins the Homerton Santander award for PhD research

Thomas Brouwer has won the Homerton Santander award for outstanding achievement in PhD research. Thomas was awarded the prize for his work under Pietro Lio’ investigating the use of Bayesian models for analysing biological datasets. The award is given annually for outstanding research in STEM subjects.

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Computer Laboratory researchers win SIGPLAN Most Influential ICFP Paper Award 2017

Computer Laboratory researchers, led by Professor Peter Sewell, have won the SIGPLAN Most Influential ICFP Paper Award 2017.

The paper “Ott: Effective Tool Support for the Working Semanticist” is joint work between members of the Computer Laboratory’s Programming, Logic, and Semantics Group and Francesco Zappa Nardelli of INRIA Paris.

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