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Prof. David Walker Wins ACM SIGPLAN Robin Milner Young Researcher Award

David Walker
Congratulations to Princeton Professor David Walker for winning the ACM SIGPLAN Robin Milner Young Researcher Award.  This award is given out annually to recognize "outstanding contributions by young investigators in the area of programming languages."  Researchers are eligible for the award if their computer-related professional career started no earlier than 20 years prior to the nominations deadline. Professor Walker's citation for the award reads as follows:
"David Walker has made deep and varied contributions to programming language research, but always with an eye towards emerging and surprising applications of foundational theory.  He was one of the co-authors of the work on Typed Assembly Language (TAL), which showed how conventional type systems could be brought to bear on low-level machine code, and which forms the basis for today's typed virtual machines such as Microsoft's .NET.  Focusing on the need for better reasoning principles for pointers, he helped develop Alias Types, the Calculus of Capabilities, and region-based formalisms that influenced the design of type systems for modern languages like Cyclone and Rust. Walker also provided semantic foundations for secure program monitoring, and used his insights to develop new tools for enforcing security policies on legacy code.  Long before "big data" was a hot topic, he and his co-authors designed languages for processing large, ad-hoc data collections.  Recognizing trends in hardware, he developed new techniques for verifying the safety of programs executing on faulty processors.  And, most recently, foreseeing the rise of software-defined networking, he has worked with people from both the networking and PL communities to develop new, high-level languages (Frenetic, Pyretic) for programming networks.
"In summary, Prof. Walker is a ground-breaking researcher in programming languages, connecting foundations to novel applications."
After receiving the award, Professor Walker thanked his many students and collaborators at Princeton and around the world.
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