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Kevin Clancy is a PhD student studying programming languages at Northeastern University’s College of Computer and Information Science, advised by Professor Heather Miller. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Iowa. Before that, he worked for Activision as a video game programmer.
- BS in Computer Science, The University of Iowa
- Hometown: Port Angeles, Washington
- Field of Study: Programming Languages
- PhD Advisor: Heather Miller
What are the specifics of your graduate education (thus far)?
Since starting the program last fall, I have been taking courses and trying to develop a research plan. Students in the College of Computer and Information Science PhD program take one to two courses per semester, but these courses can be extremely intensive. Professor Rajmohan Rajaraman’s advanced algorithms course was one of my favorites. I felt that my ability to identify divide-and-conquer algorithms improved while taking this course. My favorite homework problem involved designing an algorithm to find a local maximum in a grid of integers. The running time was proportional to the length of one of the grid’s sides, not the total number of cells. Algorithms that accomplish non-trivial tasks in sub-linear time are really cool.
What are your research interests?
Type systems, particularly refinement type systems these days. I’m currently in the process of designing a refinement type system which can prove functions monotone. It would have applications in concurrency and numerical computing.
What’s one problem you’d like to solve with your research/work?
I hope that better verification techniques for numeric programs will enable the development of increasingly complex systems that robustly interact with the physical world.
What do you find most interesting?
I don’t like to think of type systems as merely for proving properties of programs. They are exciting to me because they influence the way the programmer thinks about composing programs and for providing feedback (autocompletion, for example) throughout the process of writing a program.
What are your research/career goals, going forward?
I’d like to publish a few papers related to the project that I am currently working on. I’ve finished a workshop paper (which hasn’t been accepted yet) and am making progress on more material.