Affiliated Faculty

Monica Lam is a Professor in the Computer Science Department at Stanford University since 1988. She received a B.Sc. from University of British Columbia in 1980 and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University in 1987. She is the Faculty Director of the Stanford MobiSocial Computing Laboratory and a co-PI in the POMI (Programmable Open Mobile Internet) 2020 project, which is an NSF Expedition started in 2008. Her current research interests are in building an open and federated social computing infrastructure. She has worked in the areas of compiler optimization, software analysis to improve security, and simplifying computer management with virtualization.


She is a co-author of the book Compilers, Principles, Techniques, and Tools (2nd Edition), also known as the Dragon book. She is the founding CEO of moka5, a desktop virtualization start up that spun out of her research group at Stanford in 2005. She and her students started Mobisocial Inc. in 2012 whose goal is to create a social internet, where users can share anything from text, multimedia, to apps with anybody while owning their data.


Monica is an ACM Fellow. She received an NSF Young Investigator award in 1992, the ACM Most Influential Programming Language Design and Implementation Paper Award in 2001, an ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Paper Award in 2002, and the ACM Programming Language Design and Implementation Best Paper Award in 2004. She was the author of two of the papers in "20 Years of PLDI--a Selection (1979-1999)", and one paper in the "25 Years of the International Symposia on Computer Architecture."


She chaired the ACM SIGPLAN Programming Languages Design and Implementation Conference in 2000, served on the Editorial Board of ACM Transactions on Computer Systems and numerous program committees for conferences on languages and compilers (PLDI, POPL), operating systems (SOSP), and computer architecture (ASPLOS, ISCA).


In the area of mobile and social computing, her group developed Musubi, a message-based mobile social network that delivers both an attractive user experience as well as distributed data ownership. The paper on Musubi is a finalist of Best Student Paper in the WWW 2012 conference. She and her student Sudheendra Hangal pioneered the concept of experience-infused software.


In the area of simplifying computing, her Collective project developed the concept of a livePC: subscribers of the livePC will automatically run the latest of the published PC virtual images with each reboot. This approach allows computers to be managed scalably and securely.


Her contributions in compiler optimizations include software pipelining, data locality, parallelization. The SUIF compiler infrastructure developed by her research group has been widely used by compiler researchers all around the world.


Her contributions in program analysis for security include tools for automatically detecting cross-site scripting and SQL injection bugs in Java/JSP web applications, which was based on a novel context-sensitive pointer alias analysis. Other contributions include the bddbddb (BDD-based Deductive DataBase) analysis system, the PQL program query language, the Diduce dynamic root-cause analyzer, the Clouseau C++ memory leak detector, and the Cred buffer overrun detector.

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