Friday, October 10, 2008
William Clinger will speak at Lisp50
William D Clinger first encountered Lisp in 1975, in a course on automatic theorem proving. He has been at Northeastern University since 1994, where most of his research involves the design, specification, and implementation of functional or higher-order languages. He contributed to several of the defining reports on Scheme, wrote the compilers for two implementations, and invented efficient algorithms for hygienic macro expansion, accurate decimal-to-binary conversions, and bounded-latency generational garbage collection.
Retrospective on Scheme
Scheme began as a sequential implementation of the Actor model, from which Scheme acquired its proper tail recursion and first class continuations; other consequences of its origins include lexical scoping, first class procedures, uniform evaluation, and a unified environment. As Scheme developed, it spun off important new technical ideas such as delimited continuations and hygienic macros while enabling research in compilers, semantics, partial evaluation, and other areas. Dozens of implementations support a wide variety of users and aspirations, exerting pressure on the processes used to specify Scheme.