17–19 October 2016: Conference & Tutorials
19–20 October 2016: Training
London, UK

Distributed consensus: Making impossible possible

Heidi Howard (University of Cambridge)
10:50–11:30 Monday, 17/10/2016
Location: Sandringham Level: Intermediate
Average rating: ***..
(3.80, 5 ratings)

What you'll learn

  • Understand how to build fault-tolerance systems that you can depend upon everyday


Heidi Howard explains how to construct resilient distributed systems on top of unreliable components. Starting almost two decades ago, with Leslie Lamport’s work on organizing parliament for a Greek island, Heidi leads a journey to today’s data centers and the systems powering companies like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. Along the way, you’ll explore interesting impossibility results, machines acting maliciously, and the complexity of today’s networks. Heidi then demonstrates how to reach agreement between many parties and how to construct new fault-tolerance systems that you can depend upon everyday.

Photo of Heidi Howard

Heidi Howard

University of Cambridge

Heidi Howard is currently working toward a PhD at the Cambridge University Computer Lab, under the supervision of Jon Crowcroft. Her research interest is fault tolerance, consistency, and consensus in modern distributed systems. Previously, Heidi worked as a research assistant and undergraduate researcher at Cambridge University under the supervision of Anil Madhavapeddy, Jon Crowcroft, and Robert Mullins. Her past work includes middlebox traversal, DNS, privacy-preserving systems, and wireless community networks. Heidi holds a BA in computer science from Pembroke College at the Cambridge University. You can reach her at her blog or on Twitter as @heidiann360.