Programming Languages, Design & Implementation

Programming Languages, Design & Implementation

Programming languages provide the building blocks for the world’s computer software. Unfortunately, poorly designed and implemented languages are endemic, which leads to costly inefficiencies and threats to safety and security. Our research focuses on the correct, reliable and efficient implementation of languages.

We address the foundations of language implementation, including how those foundations perform, their correctness and how they influence language design. Our work on garbage collection is internationally renowned. Outstanding infrastructure is vital to what we do, including open-source language implementations such as Jikes RVM and the Mu micro virtual machine. We have a strong reputation for novel performance analysis. This includes leading the development of the DaCapo benchmark suite, and developing new methodologies for power and performance analysis. The formal correctness properties of language implementations is an emerging focus of our research.

We collaborate with leading academic and industrial research teams internationally. Our work is funded by competitive grants from the Australian Research Council and the National Science Foundation, and supported by our industrial partners including Microsoft Research, Facebook, Google, Intel, IBM and Oracle.

Explore our available student research projects below and if you’d like to discuss opportunities for collaboration or funding, please email us.

Academic staff


Mr Zixian Cai »

Research Assistant

Javad Ebrahimian Amiri »

PhD Student

Mr Yi Lin

Mr Yi Lin »

PhD Student

Mr Benjamin Roberts »


Brenda Wang »

Research Assistant, Tutor, Student Ambassador

Kunshan Wang

Mr Kunshan Wang »

PhD Student

Xi Yang

Mr Xi Yang »

PhD Student

Mr Pavel Zakopaylo »

Summer Scholar, Research Assistant

Mr Hongbo Zhang »

Summer Research intern

Wenyu Zhao »

Honours student


Dr Michael Norrish »

Visiting Fellow


Professor Robin Stanton »

Emeritus Professor


Conference Papers

  1. Esmaeilzadeh, H., Blackburn, S., Yang, X., McKinley, K., (2010). Power and Performance of Native and Java Benchmarks on 130nm to 32nm Process Technologies. In Annual Workshop on Modeling, Benchmarking and Simulation 2010, Saint-Malo France.
  2. Sartor, J.B., Blackburn, S., Frampton, D., Hirzel, M., McKinley, K., (2010). Z-Rays: Divide Arrays and Conquer Speed and Flexibility. In ACM SIGPLAN Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation (PLDI 2010), Toronto Canada.
Peter Marshall
15 Jul 2016
Peter Marshall, who graduated from a Bachelor of Software Engineering at ANU, is heading to live and work in Munich after his job search led him to Google. ...
Steve Blackburn and Xi Yang
5 Jul 2016
Computer scientists have developed a tweak for computer operating systems that could make large data centres 25 per cent more efficient by sharing their processing...
Dr Armin Haller demonstrating eye gaze technology
29 Jul 2015
The ANU is set to play a significant role in guiding the future of the Web after being chosen as the new host of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Australia Office...

Updated:  1 November 2018/Responsible Officer:  Dean, CECS/Page Contact:  CECS Marketing