Quick Links


Current Members

Alumni

Current Members


Michael Hicks

Professor
2002 - Present

Mike is co-director of PLUM, having been faculty at UMD since 2002. His research explores the application of programming languages to a variety of domains, most notably software security, but also systems, quantum computing, cryptography, networks, and databases.

David Van Horn

Professor
2014 - Present

David is the co-director of PLUM, having been faculty at UMD since 2014. He works to make the construction of reusable, trusted software components possible and effective. His research has spanned program analysis; semantics; verification and model-checking; security; logic; complexity; and algorithms.

Leonidas Lampropoulos

Professor
2020 - Present

Leo is the co-director of PLUM, having been faculty since 2020. Leo was previously a Basili postdoctoral fellow at UMD from 2018 to 2020. His research uses programming language abstractions to make it easier to write, debug, and reason about software and their specifications, with a particular focus on random testing, formal verification, and their interplay.

Ethan Cecchetti

Postdoc
2021 - Present

Ethan is a Maryland Cybersecurity Center postdoc working primarily with Mike Hicks. His research focuses both on how to define and analyze the security of decentralized systems composed of mutually-distrusting modules, and on how to more easily design and implement such systems securely.

Liyi Li

Postdoc
2020 - Present

Liyi is a Basili Postdoctoral Fellow, working with Mike Hicks and Xiaodi Wu. His research focuses on various topics, including analyzing programs that run on quantum computers and verifying compilers for quantum circuits, as well as formal verification and static analysis of compilers based on different memory models.

Henry Blanchette

Student
2020 - Present

Henry is a PhD student advised by David Van Horn. Interests: implementation and design of programming languages for formal verification, theoretical foundations, and practical software development.

Le Chang

Student
2021 - Present

Le is a PhD student. She is interested broadly in the design of programming languages and verification.

Pierce Darragh

Student
2021 - Present

Pierce is a PhD student advised by David Van Horn. He is interested in the human-centered design of programming languages and development tools.

Aaron Eline

Student
2021 - Present

Aaron is a Masters student in computer science. He is interested in the intersections between programming languages and security.

Justin Frank

Student
2021 - Present

Justin is a PhD student advised by David Van Horn. He is interested in compilers, type systems, and optimizations.

Sankha Narayan Guria

Student
2017 - Present

Sankha is a PhD student advised by David Van Horn and Jeff Foster. He is interested in practical tools to aid the development of fast, reliable software. Recently his focus has been on designing program synthesis tools for synthesizing programs from their tests.

Alperen Keles

Student
2021 - Present

Alperen is a PhD student advised by Leonidas Lampropoulos. He is interested in random testing, formal verification, and their connections to security.

Deena Postol

Student
2020 - Present

Deena is a PhD student advised by David Van Horn. She is interested broadly in verification and type theory.

Jacob Prinz

Student
2020 - Present

Jacob is a PhD student advised by Leonidas Lampropoulos. He is interested in the foundations of type theory, dependently typed metaprogramming, and applications of type theory to correct software development.

Benjamin Quiring

Student
2021 - Present

Benjamin is a PhD student advised by David Van Horn. He is interested in compilers, static analysis, and program optimization.

Finn Voichick

Student
2020 - Present

Finn is a PhD student interested in the design of quantum programming languages. He would like to make it easier to program quantum computers at a high level of abstraction through languages that take better advantage of uniquely quantum behavior.

Mingwei Zhu

Student
2021 - Present

Mingwei is a PhD student interested in proof engineering, program analysis and types systems.

Alumni


(This is not a complete list; more as we get time!)

Michael Coblenz

2020-2022

Michael was a Basili Postdoctoral Fellow, working with Mike Hicks and Adam Porter. His research focuses on developing the science of user-centered programming language design so that designers can better understand how to create programming languages that make developers more effective.

David Darais

Graduated 2016

David graduated with PhD from PLUM in 2016, working under the superivison of David Van Horn. After a couple of years as an assistant professor and core member of the Center for Computer Security and Privacy at the University of Vermont, he has been a Principal Scientist at Galois since 2020. His research intersects programming languages, data privacy and secure software, and his most recent work focuses on building usable programming languages for differential privacy and secure multiparty computation.

Jeff Foster

2003-2018

Jeff was co-director of PLUM from 2003-2018. Since Fall 2018 he been a Professor at Tufts, and a member of TuPL. The goal of his research is to develop fundamental new ways to make it easier to build more reliable, secure software. He is interested in programming languages, software engineering, and security.

Thomas Gilray

2016-2018

Tom was a Basili Postdoctoral Fellow in PLUM from 2016-2018, working with David Van Horn and Jeff Foster. He is now a co-director of HARP lab (High-performance Automated Reasoning and Programming) at UAB. His research focuses on program analysis design and implementation, frequently drawing on techniques from PL, HPC, and symbolic AI.

Kesha Hietala

2016-2022

Kesha was a PhD student advised by Mike Hicks. She is interested broadly in program analysis and verification. Recently her focus has been on analyzing programs that run on quantum computers and verifying compilers for quantum circuits.

Milod Kazerounian

Graduated 2021

Milod earned his PhD in 2021, advised by Jeff Foster. His interests span types for dynamic languages, machine learning for program analysis, and teaching. He currently an Assistant Teaching Professor at Tufts University.

Yiyun Liu

2020-2021

Yiyun finished his MS advised by Mike Hicks in 2021, having worked closely with Niki Vazou and James Parker. He began as a PhD student at UPenn in Fall 2021. He is interested in verifying security properties of formal systems and implementing verification tools, including Liquid Haskell, most recently.

Piotr (Peter) Mardziel

Graduated 2015

Piotr graduated with his PhD from PLUM in 2015, working under the supervision of Mike Hicks. He worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the PLUM lab before joining Carnegie Mellon University as a systems scientist in the Accountable Systems Lab. He now works at Truera. His research interests include transparency and accountability in machine learning with applications to security, privacy, and fairness, and probabilistic programming and quantitative information flow.

Ben Mariano

Graduated 2019

Ben was a Master’s student from 2017-2019, advised by Jeff Foster. He is now a PhD student at UT Austin working with Isil Dillig. His research uses program synthesis and verification to make programs easier to write and safer to run.

Cameron Moy

Graduated 2019

Cameron was a Master’s student from 2018-2019, advised by David Van Horn. He is now a PhD student at Northeastern University. Currently, he is working on new kinds of software contracts for expressing rich program specifications.

ThanhVu(Vu) Nguyen

2014-2016

Vu was a PLUM postdoc from 2014-2016, working with Jeff Foster. Since then, he was an assistant professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is now at George Mason. His current research applies software engineering techniques to analyze configurable systems, declarative languages, and general programming (e.g., developing techniques for invariant generations and automatic program repair).

James Parker

Graduated 2020

James earned his PhD under the supervision of Mike Hicks, having worked closely with Niki Vazou. His work was on verifying information flow control mechanisms, guaranteeing correctness of distributed systems, and studying secure development practices. James is now a Software Research Engineer at Galois.

Nick Petroni

Graduated 2008

Nick graduated with his PhD in 2008, working under the co-supervision of Mike Hicks and Bill Arbaugh. He is now Chief Scientist at Volexity, Inc., a rapidly growing cybersecurity startup. Prior to joining Volexity, Nick was a research scientist at IDA/CCS, a DoD-funded FFRDC.

Khoo Yit Phang

Graduated 2013

Yit graduated with his PhD from PLUM in 2013, working under the co-supervision of Jeff Foster and Mike Hicks. He is now a Software Development Manager at The MathWorks, Inc. He currently leads the development team for Experiment Manager, a feature in the Deep Learning Toolbox that helps users create and manage experiments to train deep learning networks.

Polyvios Pratikakis

Graduated 2008

Polyvios graduated with his PhD from PLUM in 2008, under the co-supervision of Mike Hicks and Jeff Foster. He is an Assistant Professor at the University of Crete and Visiting Researcher at FORTH, and works on how to put the experimental hardware developed at FORTH to good use, i.e., on systems software, memory management, and language runtimes.

Robert Rand

2018-2020

Robert was a Basili postdoctoral fellow from 2018 to 2020.
Since 2020, he’s been an assistant professor at the University of Chicago. He designs programming languages and formal verification tools for quantum computing.

Aseem Rastogi

Graduated 2016

Aseem graduated with his PhD in 2016, working with Mike Hicks. Since then he has been a Researcher at Microsoft Research India. His work spans the areas of language design, type systems, program verification, and software security. More specifically, he is interested in developing formal techniques for writing provably correct and secure software, especially in the context of F*, a language for program verification.

Karla Saur

Graduated 2015

Karla graduated with her PhD from PLUM in 2015, under the co-supervision of Mike Hicks and Jeff Foster. She is now a Senior Research Software Development Engineer at Microsoft (Azure Data - Gray Systems Labs). Karla enjoys working on large-scale distributed systems, focusing on challenges involving scalability and performance.

Saurabh Srivastava

Graduated 2010

Saurabh graduated with his PhD from PLUM in 2010, working with Sumit Gulwani (Microsoft Research), Jeff Foster, and Mike Hicks. He currently works on program synthesis in industry. After his PhD he did a postdoc at UC Berkeley. He then went on to found a computational synthetic biology company, and then another program synthesis company, Synthetic Minds, both of which were Y Combinator-backed and always looking for good talent!

Nikhil Swamy

Graduated 2008

Nik graduated with his PhD from PLUM in 2008, working under the supervision of Mike Hicks. He has since been a researcher at Microsoft Research in Redmond working on programming languages, functional programming, program proof and interactive theorem proving, often applying these techniques towards building provably correct and secure software.

Ian Sweet

2015-2022

Ian was a PhD student advised by Mike Hicks. He is broadly interested in the design and verification of secure programming languages. Recently, he has been working on the design and implementation of OblivML, a language for probabilistically oblivious programming.

Niki Vazou

2016-2018

Niki was Basili Postdoctoral Fellow in PLUM from 2016-2018, working with David Van Horn and Mike Hicks. She is now a research assistant professor at IMDEA software institute. Her research revolves around SMT-automated verification of functional programs using refinement type systems with, after her postdoc at UMD, applications in software security.