Alastair F. Donaldson (Ally)
Ally has served as Deputy Director of Undergraduate Studies (August 2014-September 2016), Faculty Sponsor for the Department’s ACM Student Chapter (July 2016-August 2018) and cohort mentor for second year PhD students (July 2013-January 2014).
Multicore Programming Group
The Multicore Programming Group‘s research aim is to help software developers in the construction of applications that are both reliable (ideally, they do not go wrong; realistically, they do not go wrong too often) and efficient (they run quickly and do not consume too much energy). These are competing aims: optimising software for performance and energy-efficiency is challenging, and even the most skilled developers risk introducing serious flaws into a system during the process of optimisation. Our work attempts to help this situation by providing formal verification and testing techniques to help expert programmers write correct low-level software, and high-level programming models from which efficient implementations can be generated to allow non-expert programmers to avoid the pitfalls of hand-optimisation.
The group’s work has traditionally focused on software for multicore and manycore systems, hence the name of the group, but in recent years the group’s interests have expanded to encompass techniques for improving software reliability in general.
August 2018-present: Software Engineer, Google
December 2017-August 2018: Director, GraphicsFuzz Ltd. (acquired by Google in August 2018)
January 2010-August 2011: Research Fellow, Wolfson College Oxford
May 2009-August 2011: EPSRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Computer Science, University of Oxford, working in the Formal Verification Group, led by Daniel Kroening
January 2007-May 2009: Research Engineer at Codeplay Software Ltd.
July-September 2005: Summer intern, Graham Technology
June-September 2002: Summer intern, Reuters Plc.
October 1999-July 2003: BSc (hons, First Class) in Computing Science and Mathematics (combined), University of Glasgow
Ally is married to Chris, who runs Little Wild Things. They have three kids, Poppy, Felix and Kitty, two cats, Jekyll and Minty, and a dog, Caspar.