This mini-course will cover some of the fundamental topics that form the basis of research in Distributed Systems and Computing. The goal is to get you familiarized with the key concepts, principles, and challenges in the field. The topics we will cover are in no way exhaustive, and of course, they reflect my own subjective biases and some of my current interests. The course will include 3 lectures covering the following topics. To get the most out of the lectures, please try to attend them in sequence as the later lectures build on material covered in the prior lectures. Topics will include: Foundations of Distributed Computing, Failures and Crash Fault-tolerance, Byzantine Fault-tolerance and Blockchains.
Date & Time : 5-7 Dec, 2023 (Tue - Thu) 9am - 12pm
Day 1 - Foundations of Distributed systems: Lamport’s model of Distributed Systems and message passing. Causality, time, Lamport Logical Clocks, Vector Clocks and protocols for clock synchronization, distributed mutual exclusion and detection of global state properties.
Day 2 - Failures and Fault-tolerance: Notion of failures, including crash and malicious faults. Replication, Paxos, Byzantine Generals Problem, and the Practical Byzantine Fault-Tolerance protocol.
Day 3 - Blockchains: Blockchains and their computation-based Proof of Work to solve the consensus problem in a large-scale distributed setting.
Amr El Abbadi is a Professor of Computer Science. He received his B. Eng. From Alexandria University, Egypt, and his Ph.D. from Cornell University. His research interests are in the fields of fault-tolerant distributed systems and databases, focusing recently on Cloud data management, blockchain based systems and privacy concerns. Prof. El Abbadi is an ACM Fellow, AAAS Fellow, and IEEE Fellow. He was Chair of the Computer Science Department at UCSB from 2007 to 2011. He served as Associate Graduate Dean at the University of California, Santa Barbara from 2021--2023. He has served as a journal editor for several database journals, including, The VLDB Journal, IEEE Transactions on Computers and The Computer Journal. He has been Program Chair for multiple database and distributed systems conferences, including most recently SIGMOD 2022. He currently serves on the executive committee of the IEEE Technical Committee on Data Engineering (TCDE) and was a board member of the VLDB Endowment from 2002 to 2008. In 2007, Prof. El Abbadi received the UCSB Senate Outstanding Mentorship Award for his excellence in mentoring graduate students. In 2013, his student, Sudipto Das received the SIGMOD Jim Gray Doctoral Dissertation Award. Prof. El Abbadi is also a co-recipient of the Test of Time Award at EDBT/ICDT 2015. He has published over 350 articles in databases and distributed systems and has supervised over 40 PhD students.
Senior undergraduates and postgraduates who are interested in researching distributed systems are welcome to participate.
Certificate of Attendance
Successful participants of the three lectures will receive a certificate of attendance granted by Department of Computer Science, HKBU. To support students' travel, we will provide up to 5 travel grants upon application. Each grant will be up to 5,000HKD based on actual expenses.
Registration is closed. The registration results have been emailed to all applicants on 20 Nov 2023.
For enquiries, please contact Ms. Toby Yeung.