Curious about automated reasoning

A few weeks back, I shared my thoughts on the importance of staying
in that case as it related to the field of quantum computing. As we
learned from Dr. John Preskill, quantum computing is on a much longer
time horizon than most technology we talk about these days, and it’s
something that may still take multiple decades before it has a tangible
impact on our daily lives. I believe the wait will be worth it, but
today I wanted to focus on another technology that’s already having a
noticeable impact on how we build and operate computer systems on top of
the cloud. Introducing automated reasoning.

Automated reasoning is the algorithmic search through the infinite set
of theorems in mathematical

In simpler terms, it’s where software engineering meets mathematics. The
field has been around for quite a while, dating all the way back to the
first computers, but recently I’m starting to see the term show up
everywhere, so I was curious to learn more. What excites me about
automated reasoning is that it’s a technology that’s quickly moving
beyond research and development circles and theorems, and into very
practical applications that can benefit Amazon customers on a daily
basis—uses like detecting misconfigurations that could expose
vulnerable customer data, or improving the end-user experience of Prime
At the center of this effort to bridge the theory and practical
application of automated reasoning is Byron Cook.

Dr. Byron Cook, FREng, is a Distinguished Scientist and Vice President
at AWS and a leader in the field of formal verification. He received his
Ph.D. in computer science from Oregon Health and Science University, and
has continued on in the academic world as a professor at University
College London. Byron’s role at Amazon is equally impressive, leading
our automated reasoning group within AWS where we are putting this
technology to work to solve complex challenges on behalf of our

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Byron and talk about his
work in the field, and today I invite you into our chat.

Customers of AWS can already unlock the benefits of automated reasoning
technology by using AWS tools such as IAM Access
Block Public
and VPC Reachability
If you’re not already making use of these tools today, I implore you to
take a look at how these can help make your operations in AWS easier and
your systems more secure.

If you’d like to hear more from Byron, you can follow him on Twitter at
@byroncook, and if you’d like to learn
more about how AWS is putting automated reasoning to work you can learn
more here.