Zhong Shao, newly designated as the Thomas L. Kempner Professor of Computer Science, focuses his research on programming languages, compilers, formal methods, and operating systems.
At Yale, Shao leads the FLINT group, which aims to develop a novel and practical programming infrastructure for constructing large-scale certified systems software. Its work spans fields ranging from programming language design, realistic OS kernel hacking, formal semantics and logics, compiler development, and proof engineering to solving problems related to all aspects of concurrency and distributed computing.
Earlier in his career, Shao was a key developer and author of many compilation phases used in the Standard ML of New Jersey compiler. He designed and developed the first production-quality type-preserving compiler for the entire Standard ML 1997 language and was the main architect of the FLINT certifying infrastructure.
Recently, Shao has been interested in developing and applying new language-based technologies to build certified system software. Certified software consists of a binary machine executable plus a rigorous machine-checkable proof that the software is free of bugs with respect to specific requirements. Shao’s group has developed the world’s first hacker-resistant concurrent operating system CertiKOS, a major milestone toward building cyber physical systems that are provably free from software vulnerabilities.
After receiving his B.S. from the University of Science and Technology of China, Shao attended Princeton University, where he was awarded his M.A. and Ph.D. in computer science. He joined the Yale faculty in 1994 as an assistant professor of computer science. Prior to his new appointment he was a full professor of computer science. He also serves as chair of the Department of Computer Science.
Shao is the author or co-author of 90 articles in scientific journals. His research has been funded by a number of sources, including the National Science Foundation, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the Office of Naval Research, among other organizations.