Thursday Extra 9/22: Molecular Computing

Thursday, September 22, 2016
4:15 p.m. in Science 3821
Refreshments at 4:00 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Science 3817)

Preventing Memory Corruption in Chemical Computations
Professor Titus Klinge will discuss his recent work on molecular computing. Molecular computing systems that are contained in well-mixed volumes are often modeled using chemical reaction networks. In these systems, concentrations of molecules are treated as signals and used for both communication and memory storage. A common design challenge for such a system is to avoid memory corruption caused by noise in the input signals. In this talk, he overviews recent results concerning two related signal restoration algorithms for molecular systems modeled with chemical reaction networks. These algorithms are designed to prevent a memory signal from degrading over time, and he shows that under modest conditions these algorithms will maintain the memory indefinitely.

Thursday Extra: "Beyond the PDP-11"

On Thursday, April 30, Brooks Davis (Senior Software Engineer, SRI International) will describe a proposed processor architecture to support memory-safe programming:

The C programming language (combined with C++) is used to implement all important modern operating systems and the runtimes of most higher level programming languages. Despite the ease of implementing serious security bugs in C, billions of lines of software is written in it and our daily lives depend on much of that software. It is surprising that all popular CPU architectures provide memory safety mechanisms substantially identical to those on the PDP-11 on which C was written in 1972! Our research aims to change that.

In this talk I provide an introduction to the conventional memory model of C and cover some of the problems this model causes. I will then discuss our solution, the CHERI CPU and our modified C compiler and how we took it from an early prototype to something that can bring memory safety to virtually all C code without code changes.

At 4:15 p.m., refreshments will be served in the Computer Science Commons. The talk, “Beyond the PDP-11: Architectural support for a memory-safe C abstract machine,” will begin at 4:30 p.m. in Noyce 3821. Everyone is welcome to attend!

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