Thursday, August 20, 2009

Welcome to Stephen Chong and Krzysztof Gajos

Last year was a huge success for faculty hiring at Harvard CS -- we added three new faculty members to our ranks, two of whom are starting this fall. (Yiling Chen started last year -- she works at the intersection of Computer Science and Economics.) Fortunately, we managed to do the search before the present economic unpleasantness; so I'm pleased to welcome Stephen Chong and Krzysztof Gajos to Harvard.

Stephen got his Ph.D. from Cornell and works in the area of programming languages and security. His work on the Swift system (published in SOSP'07) allows one to build secure Web applications where the client- and server-side code are automatically partitioned from a single, unified program written using the Jif variant of Java, which incorporates support for information flow in the programming model. This is a very practical approach to providing information flow support in a real system.

Krzysztof got his Ph.D. from University of Washington and is the first HCI person that we've hired at Harvard. Actually we've been looking to hire in this area for some time, but never found someone we really liked -- until Krzysztof. He is a great match for the kind of multidisciplinary work that we do here. Among other things, he developed the SUPPLE system, which automatically generates user interfaces for users with motor disabilities -- a nice combination of HCI and machine learning work.

Harvard grad students can look forward to the fact that Stephen and Krzysztof are both teaching graduate seminars this term.

(On a related note, I am delighted to have a new name-spelling challenge on my hands. It took me a couple of years to learn how to spell Mema Roussopoulos' surname without looking it up -- I am resisting the urge to create a macro for Krzysztof. This reminds me of my colleague from Berkeley, Rob Szewczyk, who once cheekily explained to me that his name is spelled exactly as it is pronounced.)

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