[Pl-seminar] Fwd: talk: Thursday, Sept 28, 2006: Steve Johnson on Algorithms for the 21st Century

Mitchell Wand wand at ccs.neu.edu
Tue Sep 26 14:22:26 EDT 2006

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Peter Mager <p.mager at computer.org>
Date: Sep 26, 2006 2:12 PM
Subject: talk: Thursday, Sept 28, 2006: Steve Johnson on Algorithms for the
21st Century
To: seminars at csail.mit.edu
Cc: Peter Mager <p.mager at computer.org>

Speaker: Steve Johnson
Speaker Affiliation: MathWorks
Host: Peter Mager
Host Affiliation:   GBC/ACM & Boston Chapter of IEEE Computer Society
Date: 9-28-06
Time: 7:00 PM -9:00 PM
Location: E51-325

Joint meeting of Boston Chapter of the IEEE Computer Society and GBC/ACM

Algorithms for the 21st Century
Steve Johnson, MathWorks

MIT E51-325
Thursday, 09/28/2006
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Many of the algorithms that we use today were designed to improve
performance on machines that were much smaller and slower than today's
machines.  The analysis of, and justification for these algorithms
usually makes assumptions that are no longer true for today's machines
processing large datasets.  Examples of these assumptions are that all
memory references are equally costly, that memory access doesn't matter
in analyzing algorithms, and that caches make small strides more
efficient than large strides.

The talk provides more questions than answers, but shows some empirical
data that raises a lot of questions about traditional data structure
design for large data.

Steve worked for Bell Labs for almost 20 years, where he wrote Yacc,
lint, and the Portable C compiler, and co-authored the first AT&T 32-bit
Unix port.  He then spent 15 years in Silicon Valley working for several
startups including Ardent Computer and Transmeta.  For the last 4 1/2
years, he has worked on the MATLAB language at The MathWorks in Natick,

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