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EE380 Computer Systems Colloquium

EE380 Computer Systems Colloquium

Topic: 
Propositions as Types
Abstract / Description: 

The principle of Propositions as Types links logic to computation. At first sight it appears to be a simple coincidence---almost a pun---but it turns out to be remarkably robust, inspiring the design of theorem provers and programming languages, and continuing to influence the forefronts of computing. Propositions as Types has many names and many origins, and is a notion with depth, breadth, and mystery. [Communications of the ACM, 58(12):75-84, December, 2015.]

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, May 11, 2016 - 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Venue: 
Gates B03

EE380 Computer Systems Colloquium

Topic: 
Cryptology and Security: the view from 2016
Abstract / Description: 

On the face of it, the cryptographers have solved their piece of the puzzle but every other aspect of security, from crypto-implementations to operating systems to applications, stinks. We will explore both what lies ahead for the best cooked piece of cybersecurity and what is wrong with security outside cryptography.

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, May 4, 2016 - 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Venue: 
Gates B03

EE380 Computer Systems Colloquium

Topic: 
Can the brain do back-propagation?
Abstract / Description: 

Deep learning has been very successful for a variety of difficult perceptual tasks. This suggests that the sensory pathways in the brain might also be using back-propagation to ensure that lower cortical areas compute features that are useful to higher cortical areas. Neuroscientists have not taken this possibility seriously because there are so many obvious objections: Neurons do not communicate real numbers; the output of a neuron cannot represent both a feature of the world and the derivative of a cost function with respect to the neuron's output; the feedback connections to lower cortical areas that are needed to communicate error derivatives do not have the same weights as the feedforward connections; the feedback connections do not even go to the neurons from which the feedforward connections originate; there is no obvious source of labelled data. I will describe joint work with Timothy Lillicrap on ways of overcoming these objections.

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, April 27, 2016 - 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Venue: 
Gates B03

EE380 Computer Systems Colloquium

Topic: 
Sista: Speculative inlining, Smalltalk-style
Abstract / Description: 

Sista is an adaptive optimizer using speculative inlining that is implemented entirely in Smalltalk, and is "live" in the system, meaning that the optimizer runs in the same run-time as the application and potentially can be interactively developed. Sista makes use of Smalltalk's support for first-class activation records (contexts), both to analyse the running system, and to allow manipulation of execution state to effect switching from unoptimized code to optimized code and back. Because Sista optimizes from bytecoded methods to bytecoded methods which are normal Smalltalk objects:

  • Sista starts off "hot", code being already optimized when the system starts; and
  • Sista is platform-independent; the VM is responsible for generating processor-specific code.
Date and Time: 
Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Venue: 
Gates B03

EE380 Computer Systems Colloquium

Topic: 
Micro but Mighty: Microrobots in a Macro World
Abstract / Description: 

Humans have long been inspired by the incredible abilities of ants. They can go anywhere, build vast underground networks, and carry objects more than 100 times their weight. Indeed, despite their diminutive size, ants seem to be able to affect the human world quite a lot. We may be tempted to attribute this amazing capability primarily to the muscular strength of insects, which is certainly impressive, however as Archimedes adeptly pointed out over 2000 years ago, the ground reaction forces are equally important:

"Give me a place to stand and with a lever I will move the whole world'' –Archimedes.

While humans rely on gravity and friction, both of these quantities become problematic as mass reduces with volume. At small scales, insects instead exploit interaction mechanisms like adhesion that, unlike coulomb friction, scale with area and do not depend on the magnitude of a normal force. However, adhesion without a method of release is not useful; an insect or robot would become stuck and could not move. In addition, at smaller scales, legged locomotion requires higher step rates than at larger scales to maintain the same absolute velocity. Therefore, the "controllable" adhesives that ants use must engage and disengage more quickly at small scales.

The goal of this work is to build microrobots that are inspired by ants to apply forces that are large enough to appreciably affect the human scale world. We want to build microrobots that can not only explore a disaster site in a search and rescue mission, but pull the survivors to safety when they are found. We have developed the first step toward that goal: a family of "µTug" robots that use a controllable adhesive, just like ants, to move objects up to 2000 times their size, while still being able to run at 30Hz. In order to build such robots, we examine 4 core properties of the adhesives and the actuators required to use them. We also explore the interactions of microrobots working as teams to move loads well beyond the capability of a single robot. Unlike many microrobots, the µTugs are shown to achieve near perfect sharing of load so force capabilities for a team are simply linear with number of robots. Thus a team of 6 microrobots, with a total mass of 100g, was capable of exerting enough force to move the author's 1800kg automobile.

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, April 6, 2016 - 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Venue: 
Gates B03

EE380 Computer Systems Colloquium

Topic: 
Solid State LiDAR for Autonomous Vehicles, Security, Industrial Automation, and 3D Mapping
Abstract / Description: 

We describe the technology, operation principle and application of Quanergy's solid state LiDAR that is making 3D sensing ubiquitous, with its low price point, no moving parts, small form factor, light weight, low power consumption, long range, high resolution, high accuracy, long lifetime, and ability to operate in various environmental conditions. Advanced processors are used for performing in real time (1) LiDAR/Video data fusion for modeling and recognizing the environment around a vehicle, (2) object detection, classification, identification, and tracking, (3) scenario analysis and path planning based on deep learning, and (4) actuation of vehicle controls. Application areas are represented by 4 pillars: transportation (driver assistance, autonomous/self-driving vehicles, truck fleets, aerospace, railways, transportation infrastructure), security (smart homes, smart buildings, smart spaces, smart sites, smart cities, smart nations, border protection), industrial automation (factory/warehouse automation, mining, agriculture, robotics, drones), and mapping (terrestrial and aerial).

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, March 30, 2016 - 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Venue: 
Gates B03

EE380 Computer Systems Colloquium

Topic: 
Making Programming Accessible to Everyone with the Wolfram Language
Abstract / Description: 

Designed for the new generation of programmers, the Wolfram Language has a vast depth of built-in algorithms and knowledge, all automatically accessible through its elegant unified symbolic language. Scalable for programs from tiny to huge, with immediate deployment locally and in the cloud, the Wolfram Language builds on clear principles and 25+ years of development to create what promises to be the world's most productive and accessible programming language.

Additional information about the language can be found on the Wolfram Research website.

Date and Time: 
Friday, March 4, 2016 - 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Venue: 
Gates B03

EE380 Computer Systems Colloquium

Topic: 
QED and Symbolic QED: Dramatic Improvements in SoC Validation and Debug
Abstract / Description: 

Ensuring the correctness of integrated circuits (ICs) is essential for ensuring correctness, safety and security of electronic systems we rely on. As ICs continue to grow in size and complexity, the cost and effort required to validate them are growing at an unsustainable rate. To make matters worse, difficult bugs escape into post-silicon and even production systems.

We present the Quick Error Detection (QED) technique which targets post-silicon validation and debug challenges. QED drastically reduces error detection latency, the time elapsed between the occurrence of an error caused by a bug and its manifestation as an observable failure. Inspired by QED, we also present Symbolic QED which uses a formal engine to detect and localize bugs during both pre- and post-silicon validation.

Experimental results collected using several state-of-the-art commercial hardware platforms, as well as results obtained from from simulations of various difficult bug scenarios that occurred in commercial multi-core System-on-Chips (SoCs), demonstrate the effectiveness and practicality of QED and Symbolic QED:

Reduction in error detection latencies of up to 9 orders of magnitude, from billions of clock cycles to very few clock cycles.
Up to 4-fold improvement in bug coverage.
For an open-source industrial multi-core SoC consisting of approximately half-a-billion transistors, difficult logic bugs can be localized in only a few hours. In contrast, it might take days or weeks (or even months) of manual work (per bug) when traditional techniques are used.


 

The Stanford EE Computer Systems Colloquium (EE380) meets on Wednesdays 4:30-5:45 throughout the academic year. Talks are given before a live audience in Room B03 in the basement of the Gates Computer Science Building on the Stanford Campus. The live talks (and the videos hosted at Stanford and on YouTube) are open to the public.

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, February 17, 2016 - 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Venue: 
Gates B03

EE380 Computer Systems Colloquium

Topic: 
Quantum Computing as a Service
Abstract / Description: 

QC Ware will present a business-oriented overview of quantum computing, from the perspective of a start-up that is developing software and tools to address real-world QC use cases. The presentation will cover the strategic and practical considerations of launching a QC software company.


 

The Stanford EE Computer Systems Colloquium (EE380) meets on Wednesdays 4:30-5:45 throughout the academic year. Talks are given before a live audience in Room B03 in the basement of the Gates Computer Science Building on the Stanford Campus. The live talks (and the videos hosted at Stanford and on YouTube) are open to the public.

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, February 10, 2016 - 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Venue: 
Gates B03

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