Programming Languages at Harvard

The Programming Languages Group is composed of faculty and students (in MD309) at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences who are interested in problems relating to programming language foundations, design, and implementation.


The PL Seminar typically happens Wednesdays at 1600 in Maxwell Dworkin 323. We occasionally have speakers at other times. Check the PL Seminar's Google calendar for details.

Research Projects

The Accrue project aims to provide language-based information security guarantees that are proportional to programmer effort. With little effort, a programmer may receive only weak (but, ideally, formal) guarantees; with more effort, a programmer should receive stronger guarantees. The Accrue project enables inference and discovery of strong information security guarantees in Java programs.
Privacy Tools for Sharing Research Data
This project is a broad, multidisciplinary effort to help enable the collection, analysis, and sharing of personal data for research in social science and other fields while providing privacy for individual subjects.
Shill: Scripting with Least Privilege
Shill is a shell scripting language designed to make it easy to follow the Principle of Least Privilege. Shill uses capabilities to control what access scripts have to your system. Every Shill script comes with a contract that describes what it can do, so users can run third-party scripts with confidence. Using capability-based sandboxes, Shill's security guarantees extend even to native executables launched by scripts.

Mailing Lists

We have two mailing lists dedicated to programming languages. The md309 list is for students and former students of the PL Lab. The programming list is for a wider audience of people (at Harvard and elsewhere) who are interested in programming languages. If you have a Google account, you can join the group directly using the above link. If you do not have a Google account, please email [Turn on JavaScript to view the email address] and we will add you to the distribution list.



Ph.D. Students


Recent Ph.D. Alumni

Recent Post-doc Alumni

Recent Courses