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Jean Yang

Assistant Professor
Computer Science Department
Carnegie Mellon University

jyang2 [at] cs [dot] cmu [dot] edu
GHC 7113
Curriculum Vitae

Jean Yang

I am an Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University. I am a member of the Principles of Programming group and affiliated with the Pure and Applied Logic program. I also have an affiliate appointment in CMU's Computational Biology Department.

I received my PhD from MIT in 2015 and my bachelor's degree from Harvard in 2008. During the 2015-2016 academic year I visited the Fontana Lab at Harvard Medical School.

Along with Professors Matt Fredrikson and Jan Hoffmann, I am actively looking for PhD students. You may read more about my research plans here.

Research Mission

More and more people are programming: not only those with traditional Computer Science backgrounds, but also physical scientists, journalists, and more. We have an unprecedented opportunity to shape how people reason about software--and the systems that people do not yet call software. The goal of my research is to make provable guarantees ubiquitous. I am interested in designing programming models, language implementation strategies, and programming tools to make it easier for people to create the software they intended. Application domains of interest include security, privacy, and biological modeling.

Outreach Mission

Public understanding and consumption determine the impact of research. Because of this, I am interested in improving science communication and facilitating commercialization of technical ideas. From 2013-2015 I co-directed NeuWrite Boston, a working group of scientists and science writers. To narrow the gap between academia and industry, I co-founded the Cybersecurity Factory, an accelerator for security startups, with Frank Wang.


I will be speaking at SPLASH-I in Vancouver this October about our work on policy-agnostic programming.
I recently organized the Static Analysis for Systems Biology (SASB) 2017 workshop, colocated with the Static Analysis Symposium (SAS). My current PhD student Jonathan Laurent and my former MEng student Chelsea Voss presented their work.
I spoke at Curry On Barcelona! in June about policy-agnostic programming for information flow. Video here.
I collaborated with James Mickens, the funniest man in Computer Science, on producing the world's only existing episode of "Who Wants to Be Personal Assistant to an Eccentric Billionaire?," which also happens to be about my work on policy-agnostic programming. Video here.
I co-designed and co-taught 15-316: Software Foundations of Security and Privacy with Matt Fredrikson spring 2017.

On Community

Technology is a powerful social tool. Astra Taylor writes that "programmers and the corporate officers who employ them are the new urban planners, shaping the virtual frontier into the spaces we occupy." Everyone, regardless of their background, should have the opportunity to contribute to shaping this frontier.

Towards this, I started Graduate Women at MIT during my PhD and am generally interested in encouraging more women and underrepresented groups to pursue technology as a career.

Also interested in creating more positive, supportive workplace environments, I started the Positivity@MIT project.


It is now fashionable to have such a section on one's website.


To make myself feel better about spending most of my time indoors in a non-tropical climate, I spend a lot of time caring for my warm-weather plants. I like to go for long runs and bike rides. My sister Victoria Yang attends Columbia University and writes for the Columbia Daily Spectator.

© Jean Yang 2015. Last updated September 25, 2017.