We live in a software-driven world. Software helps us communicate and collaborate; create art and music; and make discoveries in biological, physical, and social sciences. Yet the growing demand for new software, to solve new kinds of problems, remains largely unmet. Because programming is still hard, developer productivity is limited, and so is end-users' ability to program on their own.
Emina Torlak is a researcher at U.C. Berkeley, working at the intersection of software engineering, formal methods, and programming languages. Her focus is on developing tools that help people build better software more easily. She received her B.Sc. (2003), M.Eng. (2004) and Ph.D. (2009) from MIT, where she developed Kodkod, an efficient SAT-based solver for relational logic. Kodkod has since been used in over 70 tools for verification, debugging, and synthesis of code and specifications. Emina has also worked on a wide range of domain-specific formal methods. She won an ACM SIGSOFT distinguished paper award for her work at LogicBlox, where she built a system for synthesizing massive data sets, used in testing of decision support applications. As a member of IBM Research, she led the development of a tool for bounded verification of memory models, enabling the first fully automatic analysis of the Java Memory Model. These experiences inspired her current research on solver-aided languages, which aims to reduce the effort of applying formal methods to new problem domains.