Colin S. Gordon

Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, Drexel University


Room 1174

3675 Market Street

Philadelphia, PA 19104

I am an Associate Professor in the Computer Science Department of Drexel University's College of Computing and Informatics. I am interested in finding new ways to improve software reliability, especially providing strong static guarantees about program behavior, for concurrent and systems-level code. My work has focused on formal verification of concurrent programs using static reference capabilities and effect systems, though I'm also interested in other levels of formal assurance, programming models, distributed computing, and even testing. Right now I'm working on theory and application of type systems for JavaScript, polymorphic effect systems, verification for operating systems kernels, and tools to connect natural language to machine language (code and formal specifications). See my publications page for more details.

If you are interested in working with my on research, please see my advice for prospective students page, which describes how what I look for in PhD students, as well as how undergraduate or MS students already at Drexel can get involved in research with me.

Previously I've been a Senior Research Engineer at Samsung Research, a PhD student at the University of Washington, a software developer in Microsoft's Midori operating system kernel group (later doing compiler work with the team), and much longer ago an undergraduate at Brown University, an intern in the Solaris Kernel Group at Sun Microsystems, and an intern in one of the filesystem groups at NetApp.




Mar 13, 2023 I’ll be on the PC for POPL 2024
Jul 1, 2022 I’ve been awarded a new grant by the NSF, Closing the Specification Gap with Logic and Linguistics, to work on formal approaches to relating natural language specifications and (semi)formal specifications like those in proof assistants and tests. I will be hiring PhD students with an interest in applying classic ideas from linguistics (ideas from syntax and semantics, and possibly discourse) to improving software quality. Check out my recent ICSE NIER paper “Towards Property-Based Tests in Natural Language” for a sense of what this entails, and if you might be interested, check out my advice for prospective students page and get in touch if interested.
Dec 31, 2021 “Towards Property-Based Tests in Natural Language” will appear at ICSE NIER 2022
May 23, 2021 I’ll be on the PC for PLDI 2022
Feb 5, 2021 “Polymorphic Iterable Sequential Effect Systems” will appear in ACM TOPLAS

selected publications

    Gordon, Colin S.
    In 44th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Software Engineering: New Ideas and Emerging Results, ICSE (NIER) 2022
    Acceptance Rate 27% (26/97). To Appear.
    Gordon, Colin S.
    ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems (TOPLAS), 43(1) Apr 2021
  3. ESOP
    Kuru, Ismail,  and Gordon, Colin S.
    In European Symposium on Programming (ESOP 2019) Apr 2019
    Acceptance Rate 32.6% (28/86).