About


Emery Berger is a Professor in the College of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the flagship campus of the UMass system. He graduated with a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Austin in 2002. Professor Berger has been a Visiting Scientist at Microsoft Research and at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) / Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC). Professor Berger’s research spans programming languages, runtime systems, and operating systems, with a particular focus on systems that transparently improve reliability, security, and performance. He is the creator of a number of influential software systems including Hoard, a fast and scalable memory manager that accelerates multithreaded applications (used by companies including British Telecom, Cisco, Crédit Suisse, Reuters, Royal Bank of Canada, SAP, and Tata, and on which the Mac OS X memory manager is based); DieHard, an error-avoiding memory manager that directly influenced the design of the Windows 7 Fault-Tolerant Heap; and DieHarder, a secure memory manager that was an inspiration for hardening changes made to the Windows 8 heap. His honors include a Microsoft Research Fellowship, an NSF CAREER Award, a Lilly Teaching Fellowship, the Distinguished Artifact Award for PLDI 2014, the Most Influential Paper Award at OOPSLA 2012, the Most Influential Paper Award at PLDI 2016, a CACM Research Highlight in 2008 and 2016, a Google Research Award, a Microsoft SEIF Award, and Best Paper Awards at FAST, OOPSLA, and SOSP; he was named an ACM Senior Member in 2010. Professor Berger is currently serving as a member of the SIGPLAN Executive Committee, Associate Editor of the ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems, and recently served as Program Chair for PLDI 2016.
PLASMA Professor Berger is a co-director of the PLASMA research lab, and a member of the UMass CS Security Group.

Selected publications

SOSP 2015 Coz: Finding Code that Counts with Causal Profiling, with Charlie CurtsingerBest Paper Award. (coz-profiler.org)
OOPSLA 2014 CheckCell: Data Debugging for Spreadsheets, with Dan Barowy and Dimitar Gochev. Recipient of Microsoft Research SEIF Award. (checkcell.org)
OOPSLA 2014 SurveyMan: Programming and Automatically Debugging Surveys, with Emma ToschBest Paper Award. (surveyman.org)
PLDI 2014 Doppio: Breaking the Browser Language Barrier, with John Vilk Distinguished Artifact Award. (doppiojvm.org), nominated by SIGPLAN as an ACM Research Highlight. 
ASPLOS 2013 Stabilizer: Statistically Sound Performance Evaluation, with Charlie Curtsinger(stabilizer-tool.org)
OOPSLA 2012, CACM 2016 AutoMan: A Platform for Integrating Human-Based and Digital Computation, with Dan Barowy, Charlie Curtsinger, and Andrew McGregorACM Research Highlight. (automan-lang.org)
CACM 2012 Software Needs Seatbelts and Airbags.
SOSP 2011 Dthreads: Efficient and Deterministic Multithreading, with Tongping Liu and Charlie Curtsinger(dthreads.org)
CCS 2010 DieHarder: Securing the Heap, with Gene Novark. Inspiration for security enhancements in Windows 8.
OOPSLA 2009 Grace: Safe Multithreaded Programming for C/C++, with Ting Yang, Tongping Liu, and Gene Novark. First fully deterministic runtime system.
PLDI 2007, CACM 2008 Exterminator: Automatically Correcting Memory Errors with High Probability, with Gene Novark and Ben Zorn. ACM Research Highlight. First automatic bug fixing system.
SenSys 2007 Eon: A Language and Runtime System for Perpetual Systems, with Jacob Sorber, Alex Kostadinov, Matt Brennan, Matt Garber, and Mark Corner. First energy-aware / approximate computing language.
FAST 2007, ACM TOS 2007 TFS: A Transparent File System for Contributory Storagewith James Cipar & Mark CornerBest Paper Award.
PLDI 2006 DieHard: Probabilistic Memory Safety for Unsafe Languages, with Ben Zorn. Direct influence for the Windows 7 Fault Tolerant Heap. (diehard-software.org)
OOPSLA 2005 Quantifying the Performance of Garbage Collection vs. Explicit Memory Management, with Matthew Hertz.
OOPSLA 2002 Reconsidering Custom Memory Allocation with Ben Zorn & Kathryn McKinley. OOPSLA Most Influential Paper Award.
PLDI 2001 Composing High-Performance Memory Allocatorswith Kathryn McKinley & Ben Zorn. Introduced Heap Layers infrastructure.
ASPLOS 2000 Hoard: A Scalable Memory Allocator for Multithreaded Applicationswith Kathryn McKinley, Robert Blumofe, & Paul Wilson. First provably scalable memory allocator. Basis of the Mac OS X scalable memory allocator; widely used in industry. (hoard.org)

more publications here.


I am always recruiting stellar PL/systems students to join my research group. If you are applying to UMass, especially from overseas, please read this first.