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David Walker

Photo of David Walker
Ph.D., Cornell University, 2001
dpw  (@cs.princeton.edu) (609) 258-7654 211 Computer Science


Interests: Programming languages, type systems, compilers, domain-specific languages, and software-defined networking.
ACM SIGPLAN Robin Milner Young Researcher Award, 2015

Research Areas:

Active Research Projects:

Previous Research Projects:

Short Bio

David Walker joined the department in 2002, was granted tenure in 2008 and was appointed a full professor in 2013. He received his doctoral and master’s degrees in computer science from Cornell, and his bachelor’s from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.  During sabbaticals from Princeton, he has served as a visiting researcher at Microsoft Research in Redmond (2008) and in Cambridge (2009), and as Associate Visiting Faculty at the University of Pennsylvania (2015-2016).  Professor Walker studies programming language theory, design and implementation, with an emphasis on the design of domain-specific languages.  His awards include an NSF Career Award, a Sloan Fellowship and the 2015 ACM SIGPLAN Robin Milner Young Researcher Award.  Together with his collaborators, he has also won a 10-year retrospective award for the most influential paper at ACM POPL 1998, a best paper award at ACM PLDI 2007, and a Community Award for his work at USENIX NSDI 2013.  He served as an associate editor for ACM TOPLAS from 2007-2015 and as program chair for ACM POPL in 2015.  

Selected Publications

  • “NetKAT: Semantic Foundations for Networks.” Carolyn Jane Anderson, Nate Foster, Arjun Guha, Jean-Baptiste Jeannin, Dexter Kozen, Cole Schlesinger and David Walker. ACM SIGPLAN-SIGACT Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages, January 2014.
  • “Abstractions for Network Update. “ Mark Reittblatt, Nate Foster, Jen Rexford, Cole Schlesinger and David Walker. ACM SIGCOMM, August 2012.
  • “Frenetic: A Network Programming Language. “ Nate Foster, Rob Harrison, Michael J. Freedman, Christopher Monsanto, Jennifer Rexford, Alec Story and David Walker. ACM SIGPLAN International Conference on Functional Programming, September 2011.
  • “The Next 700 Data Description Languages.” Kathleen Fisher, Yitzhak Mandelbaum and David Walker. Journal of the ACM, Volume 57, Issue 2, January 2010.
  • “Fault-tolerant Typed Assembly Language.” Frances Perry, Lester Mackey, George A. Reis, Jay Ligatti, David I. August and David Walker. ACM SIGPLAN Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation. June 2007.  Winner of the PLDI 07 Best Paper Award.
  • “From System F to Typed Assembly Language.” Greg Morrisett, David Walker, Karl Crary and Neal Glew. Twenty-Fifth ACM SIGPLAN Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages. San Diego, January 1998.  Pp. 85-97. Winner of the Most Influential 1998 POPL Paper Award.
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