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Distinguished Lecture: Faith Ellen, University of Toronto

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JHE 326H

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Fei Chiang, Peter Robinson


The Complexity of Consensus and Set Agreement

Consensus is a fundamental problem in the theory of distributed computing. Our research about consensus and its generalization, set agreement, has helped us understand issues of computability and complexity, the power of randomness, and the importance of different termination conditions. This talk will survey a collection of classical and recent results about consensus in shared-memory systems.

Bio: Faith Ellen is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Toronto. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1982. Her research spans the theory of distributed computing, complexity theory and data structures. She is particularly interested in understanding how parameters of various models affect their computational power.  From 1997 to 2001, she was vice chair of SIGACT and, from 2006 to 2009, she was chair of the steering committee for PODC, the top international conference for theory of distributed computing. In 2014, she co-authoured the book, “Impossibility Results for Distributed Computing”. Faith is a Fellow of the ACM.