Shriram Krishnamurthi

Professor of Computer Science

Brown PLT and CS Ed; Bootstrap
Computer Science Department
Brown University

Contact (with Calendar)

I do not have a research area so much as a research vision:

Abstractions are essential for progress in computing.
Abstractions are also beautiful.
Abstractions can also be hard to understand and learn.
How do we help people effectively learn about abstractions?
My goal is quite simply to make progress on as many angles as possible of this vision. And as this vision makes clear, I am as excited about education as about research (as I think all professors ought to be), and indeed see not a red line but rather a very osmotic membrane between the two.

My work is informed by my background. I was primarily trained in programming languages, but I have since trained myself in various aspects of software engineering, formal methods, HCI, security, and networking. Over the years I have contributed to several innovative and useful software systems: JavaScript tools, Flowlog, Racket (formerly DrScheme), WeScheme, Margrave, Flapjax, FrTime, Continue, FASTLINK, (Per)Mission, and more. Currently, I mainly work on Pyret. For more of what I've been doing lately, please see my research group's blog.

Since 2016 [manifesto], I have devoted a substantial portion of my time and energy to the hardest problem I've worked on: computing education research. It's the hardest because it requires substantial work on both technical and human-factors fronts; the audience is often unsophisticated and vulnerable; and if you screw up, you can do real damage to not only individuals but also the field and society. The research vision above is the distillation of the direction of my computing education research.

I have been doing computing outreach since 1995. You may know me through my (co-authored) books like HtDP, PLAI, PAPL, or DCIC. Our current outreach program, Bootstrap, is used internationally to integrate computing into math, physics, social studies, and other disciplines.

I have been privileged to work with a group of impressive PhD students:

Paul Graunke, Greg Cooper, Jay McCarthy, Danny Yoo, Arjun Guha, Tim Nelson, Joe Politz, Hannah Quay-de la Vallee, Justin Pombrio, and Jack Wrenn; and currently, Kuang-Chen Lu, Elijah Rivera, and Siddhartha Prasad.
I have also been delighted to work with several outstanding post-docs:
Serge Egelman, Ben Lerner, Tim Nelson, Tess Strickland, Tristan Dyer, Ben Greenman; and currently, Will Crichton.
Finally, I'm equally chuffed to have done research with several excellent master's students and over 50 amazing undergraduates.

I'm honored to be a recipient of SIGPLAN's Robin Milner Young Researcher Award, SIGPLAN's Distinguished Educator Award (jointly), SIGSOFT's Influential Educator Award, and SIGPLAN's Software Award (jointly). At Brown, I've been awarded the Wriston Fellowship and the Philip J. Bray Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Physical Sciences.

Disclosure: My work has been supported financially by the US National Science Foundation, DARPA, Amazon, Bloomberg, Cisco,, CSNYC, the ESA Foundation, Fujitsu, General Motors, Google, Infosys, Jane Street Capital, Meta, RelationalAI, Roblox, the State of Rhode Island, and TripAdvisor. I believe my views have not been swayed by this support, but I provide this information so you can judge for yourself.

My names are not spelled Sriram or Shiram or Khrishnamurthi or Krishnamurthy or Krishnamurti (like the philosopher). Find me, o search engine, find me!