CS Table 4/16/19: Lessons for safety-critical software

April 16 CS Table location: JRC 224B, noon.

Let's look at an important case study in safety-critical software: the Therac-25. This was a device built to administer radiation to patients under carefully controlled conditions, but the device suffered from a critical flaw that made it possible for patients to receive dangerous levels of radiation instead of the carefully-controlled doses the machine was designed to administer. We’ll explore what went wrong, and discuss the lessons learned (or not learned) from this case.

Computer science table (CS Table) is a weekly meeting of Grinnell College community members (students, faculty, staff, etc.) interested in discussing topics related to computing and computer science. CS Table meets Tuesdays from 12:00–12:50pm. Most CS Tables for the spring semester will meet in JRC 224B inside the Marketplace, though a small number will be in an alternate location, so watch each week for the location. Contact the CS faculty for the weekly reading. Students on meal plans, faculty, and staff are expected to cover the cost of their meals. Visitors to the College and students not on meal plans can charge their meals to the department (sign in at the Marketplace front desk).