- When: Monday, January 22, 2018 from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
- Speakers: Michael Coblenz Carnegie Mellon University
- Location: ENGR 4201
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Blockchain platforms have captured the attention of a wide variety of industries, including finance, health care, shipping, and many others. Unfortunately, recent security vulnerabilities in blockchain-based programs have enabled the theft of over $70 million. Currently, blockchain programs are written in programming languages that lack important safety properties, resulting in many different kinds of bugs in software that handle high-stakes transactions. We propose Obsidian, a typestate-oriented programming language that uses linear types to provide strong safety guarantees that are appropriate for the application domain of blockchain. We are developing Obsidian using a new, user-centered design methodology so that programmers will be able to write Obsidian programs more effectively than if we designed it in isolation. In this talk, we will discuss both the new language and design methodology. In the future, we hope many different kinds of languages will take advantage of the language design techniques we are using in Obsidian.
Michael Coblenz is a fourth-year PhD student in the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University. He was previously a Senior Software Engineer at Apple, where he worked on Numbers, Apple’s spreadsheet software. His research is at the intersection of Human-Computer Interaction, Software Engineering, and Programming Languages, and focuses on developing techniques for designing and evaluating programming languages in which programmers can be more effective at writing software.
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