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Leslie Valiant

Leslie Valiant

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Leslie Valiant

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  1. Leslie Valiant “truly a heroic figure in theoretical computer science”- ACM Turing Award Committee Nafe Alsawfta CSCE 221 Spring 2014

  2. A somewhat typical life… • Born on March 28, 1949 (age 65) • Attend Latymer Upper School in London • King’s College, Cambridge B.A. in Mathematics • Imperial College, London, studied Theoretical C.S. • University of Warwick Ph.D. Computer Science (1974) • Appointed Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics at Harvard (1982) • Named T Jefferson Coolidge Professor of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics Harvard (2001) • In 1977 he married Gayle Lynne Dyckhoff; they had two sons Gregory John Valiant and Paul A Valiant

  3. And they said theoretical Computer Science was hard • Probably approximately correct (PAC)? • A model that supplied the foundation for learning • #P • “how many” vs “are there any” • Holographic Algorithms • What does that even mean? • Parallel and distributed computing • “Bulk synchronous parallel” (BSP)

  4. The basis for his work • “Characterizing the power of computation” • “Characterizing a semantics for cognitive computation” • “Characterizing cortical computation” “Time and again, Valiant's work has literally defined or transformed the computer science research landscape.”- ACM Turing Award Committee

  5. Award-drobe • Nevanlinna Prize (1986) • Knuth Prize (1997) • EATCS Award (2008) • ACM Turing Award (2010) • Fellow of Royal Society (London) (1991) • Fellow of The American Association for Artificial Intelligence (2001) • Member of The National Academy of Sciences (USA) (2001)

  6. Overwhelming Impact • “For transformative contributions to the theory of computation, including the theory of probably approximately correct (PAC) learning, the complexity of enumeration and of algebraic computation, and the theory of parallel and distributed computing.”-ACM Turing Award Committee 2010

  7. Sources • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leslie_Valiant • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharp-P-complete • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharp-P • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Probably_approximately_correct_learning • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holographic_algorithm • http://amturing.acm.org/award_winners/valiant_2612174.cfm • http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/history/Biographies/Valiant.html • http://people.seas.harvard.edu/~valiant