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Graduate Programs

Student Profiles

A photo of the student.

Xiaowang Dong

Hometown: Tianjin, China
Anticipated Graduation Year: 2019
Degree: PhD
Area: Operating Systems
Advisor: Sandhya Dwarkadas

Why did you pick UR for your graduate studies?

I wanted to work with Sandhya at that time. She was very nice and I was interested in her research areas.

How did you choose your area of research? Did you already know before you came? Has it changed since you got to ROC and if so why?

I read a lot of references and then found out I was interested in computer architecture. I knew it before I came. After one or two years, I found I was more interested in Operating Systems. I like hacking kernel code.

I work on improving the efficiency and security of memory accesses in emerging computing environments at the operating system level. One direction of my work is to improve the address translation efficiency of code on mobile, desktop and server environments. The other direction of my work focuses on protecting sensitive application data from compromised privileged code (such as mitigating side-channel attacks launched by privileged code). Together with my advisor, other faculty members (from both inside and outside University of Rochester), and my colleagues, we have published in several conferences including Eurosys and Usenix Security. Over the years of my PhD life, I have participated in academic activities including serving as a shadow PC member for ASPLOS and Eurosys conferences. I have also interned in Microsoft Research and ARM research.

What have you enjoyed the most about your time at UR?

I really appreciate the years that I have spent in the CS department of U of R. I have learned how to develop my research skills and communicate with others throughout my PhD program. Since it is a small department, everybody is closer to each other than the bigger CS departments in other universities. In particular, the systems group is such a kind and supportive community. I have received kind and valuable advice from the systems group for doing research, giving talks and drafting papers. Over my years at U of R, the most valuable thing I have gained is confidence, which would have been impossible without the help of my advisor and colleagues.

What are your plans for the future? Industry? Academia?

I will join Google in California after I graduate.