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Associate Professor of Computer Science
Ph.D., Harvard University
Professor Shasha's primary research projects concern algorithms for pattern recognition and discovery, a system to support parallel fault tolerant processing on distributed (i.e., non-shared memory) computers, and a system to support information tailoring.
The algorithms for pattern recognition and discovery are aimed at approximate matching between trees and, more recently, graphs. His students and he have discovered algorithms that are both theoretically and practically superior to previous ones. These algorithms use dynamic programming and opportunistic exploitation of the structure of particular graphs. That work has resulted in several programs that have been used worldwide for medical and biological research. Within parallel fault tolerant processing, he has directed the development of the Persistent Linda system to support extremely long-running parallel computation using a shared memory model. This software will soon be available for research use. The system to support information tailoring attempts to help people master complicated material, especially laws, strategies, and plans. The strategy builds on a combination of hypermedia, spreadsheet, and database technology.
His general research philosophy is to solve problems that mix puzzle-solving and practice. In his spare time, he works on kernel scheduling at Novell and on database tuning on Wall Street. He also has written a couple of fun puzzle books and a book of short biographies of great computer scientists.