Fortress: A New Language for Parallel Programming

January 31, 2007
2:50 pm - 4:00 pm
Halligan 111
Speaker: Jan-Willem Maessen, Sun Microsystems


The Fortress Programming Language is designed to make programming the new generation of highly parallel machines as simple as possible for scientists, engineers, and programmers. Fortress has been designed from the ground up; while we have borrowed heavily from the experiences of many existing programming languages, we have not been bound by the need to imitate any of them. In this talk I will describe the key guiding principles of the design of the Fortress language: Growability, ubiquitous parallelism, and ease of programming. We will explore the language and see how these principles inform its design.

Jan-Willem Maessen has been part of Project Fortress since its inception in 2003, and currently maintains the libraries for the language. His focus is on parallelism and using types to encode static program properties. Before joining Sun, Jan worked on the pH (parallel Haskell) and Eager Haskell projects at MIT, and produced the first eagerly-evaluated implementation of the Haskell language which preserved the language semantics. Jan's other interests include multiprocessor memory consistency, both in hardware and at the language level.