Researcher in Programming Languages and Verification in Application to Cryptographic Protocol Joins Alacris
Alacris is honored to announce that Dr. Jay McCarthy, one of the leading researchers in programming languages and verification in application to cryptographic protocols, has joined our organization as Head of Research. He will be responsible for the direction of development of the Alacris Operating System’s Domain Specific Language, Alacrity, that will drive the projects’ flexible usable language.
Currently, McCarthy is also an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, since 2015, where he has been teaching and researching, funded by the National Science Foundation, in areas of computer science, software design, architecture, protocols and theory of computation. He was also previously on the faculty at Vassar College and Brigham Young University. Much of his work directly correlates to the technology within the Alacris OS.
“There are many reasons I was interested in Alacris. Primarily in the mechanics like formal verification,” McCarthy said. “My world revolves around how to do this. I primarily look at the problem domains and where it is useful is not typically interfacing with people. It’s abstract and my previous involvement with Formal Verification is detached from what people deal with.”
His expertise spans beyond the classroom and labs, as a global author and presenter in industry respected publications, journals and conferences. McCarthy has an extensive background in computer science, mathematics and economics with Bachelors in all three from UMass Lowell and a P.h.D. from and Master’s in Computer Science from Brown University.
“Jay’s expertise and knowledge in the field will literally take years off of our roadmap in product development,” Alacris CEO/Co-Founder Chris Swenor said. “We have often said how hard it is to develop on blockchain and the mass amount of knowledge it takes; well, he is one of those few that has the exact knowledge and expertise needed and we are pleased he decided to work with us to make blockchain development easier for everyone else in the future.”
Outside of academia, McCarthy has also been a member of the PLT research group for the last 14 years as one of the main developers of the Racket programming language and holds a key role in the continued development of the Racket Web Server. He specializes in projects that include continuous integration systems, the Racket package system, the continuation-based Web server, and high-performance graphics runtimes.
McCarthy said he is also excited about the challenge of working in the environment of blockchain and its impact it will have on commerce and society.
“One of the main reasons is I really like the vision of blockchain. It will serve important dual purposes: reduce transaction costs and remove our reliance on untrustworthy people,” he said. “When we look at economic history we observe the decrease transaction costs as the main driver of economic well-being. Take the switch to the railroad from the horse to transport cross country. One might think goods get to their destination faster on trains, but that is not the case. In reality, trains were cheaper to run than horses were to maintain. This means trains lowered the transaction costs of the trade network. Removing intermediaries is another major way to reduce these costs; and in this case, good examples are financial markets and the insurance industry. We now understand that blockchain technology has the potential to drastically reduce transaction costs and release a flood of lower cost transactions” he said.
“This excited me about blockchain: reducing transaction costs and removing trust in people that untrustworthy. In 100 years we will talk about blockchain in the way that today we talk about the steam engine: it will change the way the economy works,” McCarthy said. “Alacris and the development of this technology are a great way to apply these tools.”