February 7, 1941 |
New York City, New York
Digital Equipment Corporation
|Alma mater||Massachusetts Institute of Technology
|Thesis||The analytic Cauchy problem with singular data (1972)|
|Doctoral advisor||Richard Palais|
Byzantine fault tolerance
|Notable awards||Dijkstra Prize
IEEE John von Neumann Medal
Leslie Lamport (born February 7, 1941 in New York City) is an American computer scientist. Lamport is best known for his seminal work in distributed systems and as the initial developer of the document preparation system LaTeX.
Early life and education
A graduate of the Bronx High School of Science, he received a B.S. in mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1960, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in mathematics from Brandeis University, respectively in 1963 and 1972. His dissertation was about singularities in analytic partial differential equations.
Professionally, Lamport worked as a computer scientist at Massachusetts Computer Associates from 1970 to 1977, SRI International from 1977 to 1985, and Digital Equipment Corporation and Compaq from 1985 to 2001. In 2001 he joined Microsoft Research in Mountain View, California.
Lamport’s research contributions have laid the foundations of the theory of distributed systems. Among his most notable papers are
- “Time, Clocks, and the Ordering of Events in a Distributed System”, which received the PODC Influential Paper Award in 2000,
- “How to Make a Multiprocessor Computer That Correctly Executes Multiprocess Programs”, which defined the notion of Sequential consistency,
- “The Byzantine Generals' Problem”,
- “Distributed Snapshots: Determining Global States of a Distributed System” and
- “The Part-Time Parliament”.
These papers relate to such concepts as logical clocks (and the happened-before relationship) and Byzantine failures. They are among the most cited papers in the field of computer science and describe algorithms to solve many fundamental problems in distributed systems, including:
- the Paxos algorithm for consensus,
- the bakery algorithm for mutual exclusion of multiple threads in a computer system that require the same resources at the same time and
- the snapshot algorithm for the determination of consistent global states.
Lamport is also known for his work on temporal logic, where he introduced the temporal logic of actions (TLA). Among his more recent contributions is TLA+, a logic for specifying and reasoning about concurrent and reactive systems, that he describes in the book “Specifying Systems: The TLA+ Language and Tools for Hardware and Software Engineers” and defines as a “quixotic attempt to overcome engineers' antipathy towards mathematics”.
Awards and memberships
Lamport received five honorary doctorates from European universities: University of Rennes and Christian Albrechts University of Kiel in 2003, EPFL in 2004, University of Lugano in 2006, and Nancy-Université in 2007. In 2004, he received the IEEE Emanuel R. Piore Award. In 2005, the paper “Reaching Agreement in the Presence of Faults” received the Dijkstra Prize. In honor of Lamport's sixtieth birthday, a lecture series was organised at the 20th Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing (PODC 2001). In 2008, he received the IEEE John von Neumann Medal. In 2011, he was elected to the United States National Academy of Sciences.
- Lamport signature – The Lamport one-time signature scheme is a method for constructing a digital signature.
- S/KEY – a one-time password system sometimes referred to as Lamport's scheme.
- Network Time Protocol – the distributed clock system used by the Internet to synchronize time.
- Lamport, Leslie (1986). LaTeX: A Document Preparation System. Addison-Wesley. ISBN 0-201-15790-X. Retrieved 2007-02-02.
- Lamport, Leslie (2006-12-19). "My Writings". Retrieved 2007-02-02.
- Lamport, Leslie (1972). The Analytic Cauchy Problem with Singular Data. Retrieved 2007-02-02.
- Lamport, Leslie (July 1978). "Time, Clocks and the Ordering of Events in a Distributed System". Communications of the ACM 21 (7): 558–565. doi:10.1145/359545.359563. Retrieved 2007-02-02.
- Neiger, Gil (2003-01-23). "PODC Influential Paper Award: 2000". Retrieved 2007-02-02.
- Lamport, Leslie (1979). "How to Make a Multiprocessor Computer That Correctly Executes Multiprocess Program". IEEE Trans. Comput. 28 (9): 690–691. doi:10.1109/TC.1979.1675439. ISSN 0018-9340.
- Lamport, Leslie; Robert Shostak, Marshall Pease (July 1982). "The Byzantine Generals Problem". ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems 4 (3): 382–401. doi:10.1145/357172.357176. Retrieved 2007-02-02.
- Chandy, K. Mani; Leslie Lamport (February 1985). "Distributed Snapshots: Determining Global States of a Distributed System". ACM Transactions on Computer Systems 3 (1): 63–75. doi:10.1145/214451.214456. Retrieved 2007-02-02.
- Lamport, Leslie (May 1998). "The Part-Time Parliament". ACM Transactions on Computer Systems 16 (2): 133–169. doi:10.1145/279227.279229. Retrieved 2007-02-02.
- "Most cited articles in Computer Science". 2006-09. Retrieved 2007-10-08.
- Lamport, Leslie (1990-04-01). A Temporal Logic of Actions. Retrieved 2007-02-02.
- Lamport, Leslie (May 1994). "The Temporal Logic of Actions". ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems 16 (3): 872–923. doi:10.1145/177492.177726. Retrieved 2007-02-02.
- Lamport, Leslie (2002). Specifying Systems: The TLA+ Language and Tools for Hardware and Software Engineers. Addison-Wesley. ISBN 0-321-14306-X. Retrieved 2007-02-02.
- "The International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks keynote speaker biography". Retrieved 2007-03-06.
- "IEEE Emanuel R. Piore Award Recipients es". IEEE. Retrieved 2010-12-31.
- Pease, Marshall; Robert Shostak, Leslie Lamport (April 1980). "Reaching Agreement in the Presence of Faults". Journal of the Association for Computing Machinery 27 (2). Retrieved 2007-02-02.
- "Edsger W. Dijkstra Prize in Distributed Computing: 2005". Retrieved 2007-02-02.
- "PODC 2001: Lamport Lecture Series". Retrieved 2009-07-02.
- "IEEE John von Neumann Medal Recipients". IEEE. Retrieved December 31, 2010.
- Members and Foreign Associates Elected, National Academy of Sciences, May 3, 2011.