In the Fall 2011 semester, Prof. Benoit Razet joined the department semester as a visiting assistant professor. Prof. Razet earned his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Paris 7 (Denis Diderot), in 2009, worked as a research engineer at the prestigious Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique (INRIA) Sophia Antipolis, and later as a posdoctoral fellow at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, in Mumbai, India.
As many others in the field, Prof. Razet's enthusiasm for computers started with gaming. As he studied mathematics and physics in college, he taught himself to program and discovered another passion. While at first he explored the development of programs in C for generating graphics and audio, he later went on to pursue formal studies in automata theory and in computational linguistics.
Today, Prof. Razet's research and development is focused on "proof assistants", a type of computer technology that helps a theorist successfully and more painlessly go through the multiple, often tedious, and error prone steps involved in long mathematical proofs. The use of proof assistants guarantees that, at the end of the proof, the theorist will have arrived at verifiedly correct product. In a talk to the ACM, Nov. 10, 2011, Prof. Razet demonstrated the system he has developed. The platform, called "Coq", consists of a full-fledged integrated development environment into which one specifies the components of a formal proof and observes the computer expand, simplify, and validate the individual cases that might arise.
At Bucknell, Prof. Razet has been teaching Programming Language Design (CSCI 208) and Theory of Computation (CSCI 341).