office ECOT 621
mail 430 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0430 USA
phone +1 303 492 8894
fax +1 303 492 2844

Ph.D. Positions. I am always looking for enthusiastic students interested in working with me on research projects in programming languages and software systems. If you are interested in finding out more, please contact me.

For recent news about the Programming Languages group at the University of Colorado Boulder, take a look at our most recent recruiting talk.

I am an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and the Programming Languages and Verification Group at the University of Colorado Boulder.

I work primarily in the areas of programming languages and program analysis. My research interests center on tools and techniques for building, understanding, and ensuring reliable computational systems. Currently, my focus is on using novel ways of interacting with the programmer to design more precise and practical program analyses. The Xisa project is an instance of this approach that infers precise properties of complex data structure manipulations. The novelty of Xisa is that it extracts both the necessary invariants and reasoning rules from executable assertions (analogous to data structure validation code often written for testing). This approach allows the developer to focus the analysis to the properties of interest and without using a separate formalism for testing and static analysis.

I completed my Ph.D. in 2008 with George Necula in the EECS department at the University of California, Berkeley. I also spent the fall of 2008 as a post-doc with Jeff Foster in the PLUM group at the University of Maryland, College Park before joining the University of Colorado Boulder in January 2009.

Even earlier, I spent my undergraduate days at Carnegie Mellon University completing a senior thesis with Frank Pfenning and Bob Harper.

Students

Modular verification of almost-everywhere invariants: method reflection, Objective-C

Abstract domain combinators for dynamic languages: reflective metaprogramming frameworks, JavaScript. Co-advised with Sriram Sankaranarayanan.

Precise refutation analysis: may-witnesses, false alarm triage, Android, Java.

Yi-Fan Tsai

Incremental verification-validation: data structure invariants, incrementalization, C.

Teaching

Program Analysis: Theory and Practice
CSCI 7135
Principles of Programming Languages
CSCI 3155
Readings in Programming Languages
Spring 2012: Analysis of Dynamic Languages
CSCI 7900
Compiler Construction
CSCI 4555/5525, ECEN 4553/5523
Program Analysis Practicum
CSCI 7135
Fundamentals of Programming Languages
CSCI 5535

Selected Projects

QUIC GraphsRelational Invariant Generation for Containers

An abstract domain constructor for inferring invariants about sets and set properties of containers.

References: ECOOP 2013
ThresherPrecise Refutations for Heap Reachability

A static analysis tool for Java programs that specializes in checking heap reachability properties and provides automated alarm triage assistance.

References: PLDI 2013
Fissile Type AnalysisModular Checking of Almost-Everywhere Invariants

A static analysis tool for C and Objective-C that verifies invariants that hold almost everywhere, including the safety of reflective method calls.

References: POPL 2014
XisaExtensible Inductive Shape Analysis

Efficient algorithms and automatic tools for reasoning about heap-manipulating programs, such as those that use recursive data structures like pointer-based lists and trees.

Recent Papers

2014
Fissile Type Analysis: Modular Checking of Almost Everywhere Invariants
POPL 2014: ACM SIGACT-SIGPLAN Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages
2014
Refuting Heap Rechability (Extended Abstract)
VMCAI 2014: International Conference on Verification, Model Checking, and Abstract Interpretation
2013
Modular Construction of Shape-Numeric Analyzers
SAIRP 2013: Semantics, Abstract Interpretation, and Reasoning about Programs: Essays Dedicated to David A. Schmidt on the Occasion of his Sixtieth Birthday
2013
QUIC Graphs: Relational Invariant Generation for Containers
ECOOP 2013: European Conference on Object-Oriented Programming
2013
Thresher: Precise Refutations for Heap Reachability
PLDI 2013: ACM SIGPLAN Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation
[more]

Recent Talks

February 26, 2014
Fissile Type Analysis: Modular Checking of Almost Everywhere Invariants
University of Maryland, College Park
January 20, 2014
Refuting Heap Reachability
VMCAI 2014: International Conference on Verification, Model Checking, and Abstract Interpretation
San Diego, California, USA
October 3, 2013
Cooperative Program Analysis
University of Colorado Boulder
July 22, 2013
Precise Heap Reachability by Refutation Analysis
Université Paris Diderot
July 19, 2013
Precise Heap Reachability by Refutation Analysis
École Normale Supérieure
[more]

Professional Activities

POPL 2015
External Review Committee Member
ACM SIGACT-SIGPLAN Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages
POPL 2014
Co-Treasurer
ACM SIGACT-SIGPLAN Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages
TAPAS 2013
Program Committee Chair
International Workshop on Tools for Automatic Program Analysis
POPL 2013
Treasurer
ACM SIGACT-SIGPLAN Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages
TAPAS 2012
Program Committee Member
International Workshop on Tools for Automatic Program Analysis
PLDI 2012
External Review Committee Member
ACM SIGPLAN Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation
POPL 2012
Treasurer and External Review Committee Member
ACM SIGACT-SIGPLAN Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages
VMCAI 2012
Program Committee Member
International Conference on Verification, Model Checking, and Abstract Interpretation
NSAD 2011
Program Committee Member
International Workshop on Numerical and Symbolic Abstract Domains
LCPC 2011
Program Committee Member
International Workshop on Languages and Compilers for Parallel Computing
PASTE 2011
Program Committee Member
ACM SIGPLAN-SIGSOFT Workshop on Program Analysis for Software Tools and Engineering
POPL 2011
Treasurer
ACM SIGACT-SIGPLAN Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages
POPL 2010
Co-Treasurer
ACM SIGACT-SIGPLAN Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages
FRACTAL F2009
Organizer
Front Range Architecture Compilers Tools and Languages Workshop
PLDI 2009
External Review Committee Member
ACM SIGPLAN Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation
AIOOL 2005
Program Committee Member
International Workshop on Abstract Interpretation of Object-Oriented Languages