Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Moshe Vardi talk

This morning I attended a magical talk by Moshe Vardi entitled "From Philosophical to Industrial Logics". This was a fantastic hour - Moshe gave a fascinating, historical tour of essentially a century of work on logic and automata. He showed how a number of seemingly esoteric academic arguments have been replayed in industrial situtations, e.g. the arguments between tense logic people on linear vs. branching time was played out between Intel and IBM when settling on the language PL/Sugar.

Moshe had some nice conclusions, including (paraphrased):
  • science is a cathedral; we are the masons
  • there is no architect
  • our own contribution is always very small
  • sometimes very small contributions can have a big effect
It was a really wonderful talk - I know we record these but we don't make them externally available. Someone should record this talk and put it on youtube or somewhere similar. I hope to get Byron to persuade Moshe to put the slides somewhere.

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