Monica S. Lam

Monica Sin-Ling Lam is an American computer scientist. She is a professor in the Computer Science Department at Stanford, and founder of Moka5 and Omlet.

Professional biographyEdit

Monica Lam received a B.Sc. from University of British Columbia in 1980 and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University in 1987.[1]

Lam joined the faculty of Computer Science at Stanford University in 1988. She has contributed to the research of a wide range of computer systems topics including compilers, program analysis, operating systems, security, computer architecture, and high-performance computing. She currently directs the MobiSocial laboratory at Stanford. Lam is the cofounder and CEO of Omlet,[2] the first MobiSocial product, which launched in 2014.[3] Omlet is an open, decentralized social networking tool, based on an extensible chat platform.[4][5]

In the Collective project, her research group and she developed the concept of a livePC: subscribers of the livePC will automatically run the latest of the published PC virtual images with each reboot. This approach allows computers to be managed scalably and securely. In 2005, the group started a company called MokaFive to transfer the technology to industry.

In another research project, her program analysis group has developed a collection of tools for improving software security and reliability. They developed the first scalable context-sensitive inclusion-based pointer analysis and a freely available tool called BDDBDDB, that allows programmers to express context-sensitive analyses simply by writing Datalog queries. Other tools developed include Griffin, static and dynamic analysis for finding security vulnerabilities in Web applications such as SQL injection, a static and dynamic program query language called PQL, a static memory leak detector called Clouseau, a dynamic buffer overrun detector called CRED, and a dynamic error diagnosis tool called DIDUCE.

Previously, Lam led the SUIF (Stanford University Intermediate Format) Compiler project,[6] which produced a widely used compiler infrastructure known for its locality optimizations and interprocedural parallelization. Many of the compiler techniques she developed have been adopted by the industry. Her other research projects included the architecture and compiler for the CMU Warp machine, a systolic array of VLIW processors, and the Stanford DASH distributed shared memory machine. In 1998, she took a sabbatical leave from Stanford to help start Tensilica Inc., a company that specializes in configurable processor cores.

Lam chaired the ACM SIGPLAN Programming Languages Design and Implementation Conference in 2000, served on the Editorial Board of ACM Transactions on Computer Systems and numerous program committees for conferences on languages and compilers (PLDI, POPL), operating systems (SOSP), and computer architecture (ASPLOS, ISCA).


  • Compilers: Principles, Techniques and Tools (2d Ed) (2006) (the "Dragon Book") by Alfred V. Aho, Monica S. Lam, Ravi Sethi, and Jeffrey D. Ullman (ISBN 0-321-48681-1)
  • A Systolic Array Optimizing Compiler (1989) (ISBN 0-89838-300-5)
  • Monica Lam, Dissertation[7]


Lam has received the following awards and honors:

  • Fellow of the ACM, 2007
  • ACM Programming Language Design and Implementation Best Paper Award in 2004
  • ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Paper Award in 2002
  • ACM Most Influential Programming Language Design and Implementation Paper Award in 2001
  • NSF Young Investigator award in 1992
  • Two of her papers were recognized in "20 Years of PLDI--a Selection (1979-1999)"
  • One of her papers was recognized in the "25 Years of the International Symposia on Computer Architecture", 1988.


  1. ^ "Monica Lam PROFESSOR OF COMPUTER SCIENCE". Stanford University. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  2. ^ "Microsoft Research Faculty Summit 2015 - Speakers". July 9, 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  3. ^ Tweney, Dylan (March 28, 2014). "This Stanford team is reinventing the entire Internet for just $10M". VentureBeat. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  4. ^ Zimmerman, Eilene (March 18, 2014). "Dispatches from SXSW: Social Media Start-Ups". New York Times. Retrieved 3 March 2016. Omlet is a mobile sharing and collaboration platform that was introduced at the SXSW Accelerator competition and made it to the finals. It’s the first product from MobiSocial, which was founded by Monica Lam, a professor of computer science at Stanford University and the company’s chief executive.
  5. ^ "About - Omlet". Retrieved 3 March 2016. Omlet is an Open Messaging Platform, a new standard for mobile messaging applications that leverages the unique attributes of the phone to enable consumers to "share anything, with anyone, anywhere," while owning the data they share.
  6. ^ "The Stanford SUIF Group".
  7. ^ A Systolic Array Optimizing Compiler (1987); Advisor: H. T. Kung.

External linksEdit