Derek Dreyer → Research

Curriculum Vitae Research Statement Professional Activities Awards and Grants Research Advisees Publications

About Me

I am a scientific director of the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems (MPI-SWS) in Kaiserslautern and Saarbrücken, Germany.
I work at the Saarbrücken branch of the institute, where I lead the “Foundations of Programming” Group.
I have been faculty here since January 2008, received tenure in October 2013, and became a scientific director in May 2022.

In September 2017, I received the ACM SIGPLAN Robin Milner Young Researcher Award.
I was also appointed as an Honorarprofessor of Computer Science at Saarland University,
which means that you can now address me illustriously as "Herr Professor Derektor Dreyer".
Or if you prefer to follow the lead of my daughter Alma, you can call me "Yb" (pronounced "eeb"),
which is short for "ybab" ("baby" spelled backwards -- don't ask).

Originally, the name of my research group was “Type Systems and Functional Programming”, but at some point I realized
I was spending most of my time thinking about how to verify untyped imperative programs — how embarrassing!!

Perhaps a more useful description for my research is that I am working toward a “realistic” theory of modularity.
That is, I am trying to figure out how we can build and reason modularly about programs that use “interesting” features,
like fine-grained weak-memory concurrency, or higher-order state, or recursive linking, or dependent types, or self-modifying assembly code (!),
which make these programs so interesting that traditional semantic and verification techniques cannot account for them.

Toward that end, I supervise a number of terrific students and postdocs working on all sorts of fascinating problems,
and I collaborate with several other researchers in the area of PL/Verification at MPI-SWS and around the world.

I have also been awarded a 2015 ERC Consolidator Grant for the 5-year project “RustBelt”.
In this project, we aim to build the first formal foundations for safe systems programming in Mozilla's new language, Rust.
We are actively hiring exceptional postdocs and PhD students to work on RustBelt -- see here for information on how to apply.

From 2012 to 2015, I served on the ACM SIGPLAN Executive Committee, where I chaired the committees for most-influential-paper awards.
I am still actively involved in a variety of SIGPLAN activities, including steering the Programming Languages Mentoring Workshop (PLMW) series,
which has helped expose many new students to PL research. Many people seemed to enjoy my talk at PLMW 2014 on parametricity
and my talks at many subsequent PLMWs on writing and speaking skills.

All of my publications are accessible below, or you can check out my publication page on DBLP or my Google Scholar profile.
I also try to keep my CV up to date.

Professional Activities

Awards and Grants

Research Advisees

Current PhD Students: Current Postdocs: Former PhD Students: Former Postdocs: Former Interns:


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Derek Dreyer

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