Justin Hsu has just been announced as the winner of the John C. Reynolds Doctoral Dissertation Award, presented annually to the author of an outstanding doctoral dissertation in the area of Programming Languages by ACM SIGPLAN.
Hsu’s dissertation, entitled “Probabilistic Couplings for Probabilistic Reasoning,” is about program verification, specifically verifying randomized programs. "We are increasingly using programs that make random choices, especially in areas like machine learning and cryptography, but these programs are really complicated and it's very hard to check that they're working correctly," says Hsu. "For instance, researchers are looking at how to add random noise to protect privacy when working with private data, say, when running a medical study. My thesis presents some new ways to check that these programs are truly protecting privacy."
This award gives Hsu a boost and helps people hear about his work. He continues, "I'm very happy that the research community found my results interesting, and I hope that other people are motivated to think about these questions."
Hsu will join the CS faculty for the 2018 fall semester.