Emery Berger receives OOPSLA Most Influential Paper Award

Associate Professor Emery Berger and co-authors Benjamin Zorn and former UMass Amherst CS professor Kathryn McKinley were chosen as the recipients of the ACM Special Interest Group for Programming Languages (SIGPLAN) Most Influential Paper Award for their OOPSLA (Object-Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages and Applications) Conference '02 paper, "Reconsidering Custom Memory Allocation." The papers are judged by their influence over the past decade. The award was presented during the Third Annual Systems, Programming, Languages and Applications: Software for Humanity (SPLASH) Conference in Tucson, Arizona in October, 2012.

The award citation reads: "Custom memory management is often used in systems software for the purpose of decreasing the cost of allocation and tightly controlling memory footprint of the software. Until 2002, it was taken for granted that application-specific memory allocators were superior to general purpose libraries. Berger, Zorn and McKinley's paper demonstrated through a rigorous empirical study that this assumption is not well-founded, and gave insights into the reasons why general purpose allocators can outperform handcrafted ones. The paper also stands out for the quality of its empirical methodology."

Berger leads the Programming Languages and Systems at Massachusetts (PLASMA) group. His research spans programming languages, runtime systems, and operating systems, with a particular focus on systems that transparently improve reliability, security, and performance.

Berger's and CS doctoral student Dan Barowy's recent research on AutoMan, the first fully automatic crowdprogramming system, was the focus of a New Scientist article, "Your next boss could be a computer" (released on Dec. 6, 2012). AutoMan is a platform for integrating human-based and digital computation. Barowy and Berger are working with Assistant Professor Andrew McGregor and doctoral student Charlie Curtsinger on a system that handles quality control, payment, and task scheduling automatically. 

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