Oct 14, 2014

CS Student Delegate to Heidelberg Laureate Forum


This September, computer science PhD student Lucas Wilson, traveled to Germany to attend the second annual Heidelberg Laureate Forum.  Modeled after the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, the Forum was a one-week event in Heidelberg, Germany, that combines scientific, social and outreach activities involving the winners of the most prestigious awards in Mathematics and Computer Science (the Abel Prize, Fields Medal, and the ACM Turing Award).  The Forum organizers also selected approximately 200 of the world's most promising young researchers to participate in the forum.  Among these young scientists was Lucas Wilson.

Lucas Wilson is currently a doctoral candidate at UTSA and a Research Scientist at the Texas Advanced Computing Center.  He is working on a dissertation on the topic of "The Relentless Execution Model for Task-uncoordinated Parallel Computation in Distributed Memory Environments."  His work, under the supervision of Jeffery von Ronne, tackles one of the challenges that will be faced in trying to run scientific codes on ever larger supercomputing systems: namely, that a computation model is needed that can tolerate hardware failures.The Relentless Execution Model achieves this by breaking up programs into deterministic, idempotent tasks that communicate through a distributed, eventually-consistent, single-assignment dictionary.

At the forum, Lucas (left, in photo) had the opportunity to chat with ACM Turing Award winners, such as Ivan Sutherland (right, in photo), a pioneer of graphical user interfaces.  Other ACM Turing Award winners at the Forum included: Manuel Blum, Vinton Cerf, Stephen Cook, John Hopcroft, William Kahan, Lesslie Lamport, Peter Naur, Joseph Sifakis, Richard Stearns, and Robert Tarjan.