A Brief History of Computing: from Al-Khwarizmi and Turing to Zuckerberg and X

Rachid Guerraoui , EPFL, Lausanne Switzerland


This talk will discuss how computing has drastically changed since it was invented by Alain Turing. The talk will recall what algorithms used to look like on a centralized sequential Turing machine and what they look like on a large scale social network. The talk will also speculate on what they will look like in the near future and discuss open research problems in modern computing.


Rachid Guerraoui is full professor at Ecole Polytechnique Féderale de Lausanne (the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) where he leads the distributed programming laboratory. In previous incarnations, he was affiliated with Ecole des Mines of Paris, the Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique of Saclay, Hewlett Packard Laboratories in California and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston. He has worked on a variety of aspects of distributed computing, including distributed algorithms and distributed programming languages. He is most well known for his work on (e-)Transactions for which his has several patents, as well as epidemic information dissemination and indulgent algorithms. He has written about 300 papers in journals and international conference proceedings and several books. He was appointed program chair of ECOOP 1999, ACM Middleware 2001, IEEE SRDS 2002, DISC 2004 and ACM PODC 2010.