The Simplicity of Concurrency


Date Thursday July 21st 2005
Time 4:00-5:00pm
Venue George E. Pake Auditorium

PARC Forum

The expression of sequentiality is generally considered to be simple and reliable whereas the expression of concurrency is perceived to be complex, nondeterministic and very difficult. Consequently, sequentiality is accepted as a primitive form of expression and concurrency is characterized in terms of sequentiality. It is argued here that the perception of the simplicity of sequentiality and the complexity of concurrency is an illusion of a particular conceptual view not unlike the conceptual view that the earth is flat with consequential edges that one can fall over and that by slightly modifying ones conceptual view concurrency becomes simple, reliable and primitive while sequentiality becomes a complicated and risky derivative of concurrency.


Karl M. Fant is a founder and president of Theseus Research, Inc and a founder of Theseus Logic, Inc. He received a B.S. in computer science from the University of Minnesota in 1974. He started his career as a research scientist at Honeywell, became a research fellow and received Honeywell's highest technical achievement award before becoming entrepreneurial. He founded Theseus Research in 1990 to pursue practical applications and the continuing developement of ideas related to process expression with the goal of discovering new approaches to designing computer circuits, computer architectures and programming languages. A first practical aplication is NULL Convention Logic; a new form of logic, sufficient in itself, that enables logically determined design of digital electronic circuits which do not need to be timed or clocked. In 1996 he founded Theseus Logic to commercialize NULL Convention Logic. He is currently preparing to launch the next practical application.

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