John Criswell is an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Rochester. His research interests focus on computer security and automatic compiler transformations that can be used to enforce security policies on commodity software. Prior to joining the University of Rochester, John was a research programmer and Ph.D. student in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

John's primary research work is on the Secure Virtual Architecture (SVA). SVA enforces security policies on commodity operating system kernels. John's previous work used SVA to protect the Linux and FreeBSD operating system kernels from attack. John also developed a system named Virtual Ghost that protects applications from a compromised operating system kernel. John is also the lead developer of the open-source SAFECode memory safety compiler (which enforces memory safety guarantees on application code).

In addition to his work on SVA and SAFECode, John has contributed to the open-source LLVM Compiler Infrastructure. John has also worked for FireEye and Argus Systems Group (now owned by General Dynamics).

For his work on the Secure Virtual Architecture, John has been awarded an Honorable Mention for the 2014 ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award, the Honorable Mention for the 2014 ACM SIGOPS Dennis M. Ritchie Doctoral Dissertation Award, and the 2015 David J. Kuck Outstanding Ph.D. Thesis Award.

Prospective Students

I'm currently looking for graduate students interested in doing research in computer security, compilers, and/or operating systems. I can also offer independent study to graduate and undergraduate students. I'm especially interested in work on metrics for measuring security, automatic protections against attacks (using either compiler instrumentation or operating system techniques), and operating system enhancements that reduce a system's attack surface.

Prospective students can email me at my Rochester CS email address or drop by my office (Wegmans Hall 3405). If sending email, please add the text "Prospective Student" to your email's subject line.