PhD position in Certifying Compilation of Smart Contracts

Wouter Swierstra at Utrecht and my IOHK colleague Manuel Chakravarty are looking for someone to undertake a PhD to build a certifying compiler for our smart contract language, Plutus.
This project aims to develop a certifying compiler for Plutus Tx, a subset of the purely functional language Haskell that is used to implement smart contracts for the Cardano blockchain. The Plutus smart contract framework is being developed by IOHK for Cardano and the present project is a joint effort of IOHK and Utrecht University. The Plutus Tx compiler is based on the GHC Haskell compiler and adds a translation step from GHC Core to a minimal lambda calculus. Programmes in this lambda calculus are executed during transaction validation in a sandboxed execution environment in a manner that is crucial to the security of the blockchain. The aim of this project is to formalise the semantics of the languages involved in a proof assistant such as Coq, to reason about the transformation and optimisation steps that the compiler performs, and finally, to generate a proof object certifying the correctness of the generated code together with that code.

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Every Proof Assistant

Andrej Bauer writes:
For a while now I have been contemplating a series of seminars titled "Every proof assistant" that would be devoted to all the different proof assistants out there. Apart from the established ones (Isabelle/HOLCoqAgdaLean), there are other interesting experimental proof assistants, and some that are still under development, or just proofs of concept. I would like to know more about them, and I suspect I am not the only one. 

Getting the authors of proof assistants to travel to Ljubljana and giving talks at our Foundations of mathematics and theoretical computer science seminar has largely become impossible. But luckily research seminars world-wide are rapidly moving online, and so is our Foundations seminar. I am therefore delighted to announce the first "Every proof assistant" seminar. ... 

I have a couple more in the pipeline, so follow this blog, the Foundations seminar announcements or my Twitter account @andrejbauer.

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The Tempest

In many ways, Covid 19 has expanded rather than contracted our cultural opportunities. Today, Wanda and I saw an interactive online live abridged production of The Tempest, from Creation Theatre. It was great! We were lucky to get one of the extra places they added due to demand. They are likely to put on additional shows, keep an eye out. Spotted via The Guardian.

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Virtual Conferences: A Guide to Best Practices

A report from the ACM Presidential Task Force on on What Conferences Can Do to Replace Face-to-Face Meetings. Thank you to Crista Videira Lopes, Jeanna Matthews, Benjamin Pierce, and the other members of the task force.

“Our conference organizing committee just decided to switch our physical conference to online. But the conference is supposed to start in three weeks, and none of us have ever even been to a virtual conference, much less put one on! Where do we start??”

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The New New Yorker

Courtesy of Tom The Dancing Bug.

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