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Revision Date Username Comment
1407 Oct 2015 - 15:04ThomasMisa 
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922 May 2015 - 16:53ThomasMisa 
816 Apr 2015 - 15:30halky001?Fleshed out DEC and Microsoft sections 
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Butler Lampson

( Work In Progress -- Main.halky001)

Butler W. Lampson is a computer scientist and ACM Turing Award winner who, while best known for his pioneering work on the Xerox Alto workstation, has also been hugely influential in the field of computer security.

Lampson received a Bachelor's degree in physics from Harvard University in 1964 and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1967. While at Berkeley, Lampson worked on the Genie project, whose goal was to produce a time-sharing operating system that would run on lower-cost hardware than that required by MIT's Compatible Time Sharing System. Notably, Lampson's Ph.D. thesis, "Scheduling and Protection in an Interactive Multiprocess System," was one of the first dissertations covering the issues of computer security, a result of his work on Genie and a related project, the CAL Time Sharing System, which was the first capability?-based time sharing system to see active production use. (1) (2)

After a stint at BCC<?>, a short-lived venture that aimed to build on and commercialize the technologies developed by the Genie project, Lampson joined Xerox's famed Palo Alto Research Center. While his work there was primarily focused on interactive personal computing, he published two highly influential security-related papers during his time there. Not long after his arrival in 1971, Lampson introduced the concept of access-control matrices? in light of the failings of the capability model on which he had worked previously(3). Then, in 1973, after hearing about the then-new concept of multi-level? security, he published "Notes on the Confinement Problem" that was the first published treatment of the problem of covert channels in multi-user operating systems(4).

While at PARC Lampson was a principal architect of the Euclid programming language, a DARPA-funded project designed with the aim of producing programs whose behavior could be verified by formal methods (sometimes known as "high assurance"). (5)

To Do

  • DEC
  • Microsoft

Additional Resources:

Supported by the National Science Foundation CNS--TC 1116862 "Building an Infrastructure for Computer Security History."


1 : http://www.textfiles.com/bitsavers/pdf/univOfCalBerkeley/Cal_TSS_Overview_Oct69.pdf An Overview of the CAL Time Sharing System

2 , 5 : Oral History Interview with William Hugh Murray, conducted by Jeff Yost.

3 : http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=775265.775268

4 : http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=362389

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Topic revision: r6 - 19 Mar 2015 - 17:50:56 - ThomasMisa
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