Michael E. Locasto

Michael E. Locasto is an assistant professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. [formal bio] (in plaintext)

I study the security of computer systems. I try to understand why it seems difficult to build secure systems and how we can get better at it. I also have an interest in innovative approaches to information security education. I like taking systems apart and understanding how they really work to discover and fix vulnerabilities in software. I work on (1) cooperative security - the challenge of getting security systems to work together; (2) efficient security - the craft of making security less of a tax or performance burden; and (3) beautiful security - the emerging art of meaningfully visualizing security events, relationships, and data.

I am actively recruiting top-quality students for positions in my lab, including undergraduate summer research interns, MSc thesis students, and PhD students. I am particularly interested in mentoring people who have an interest in or experience doing applied and systems security. Translation: if you are a hacker who, for some crazy reason, has an interest in a graduate degree, I am very interested in talking to you. If you've never written a C program larger than 5K lines or compiled an OS kernel, we probably should not talk. Prospective students should read this page (read also: the grad admissions FAQ and the minimum admission requirements). I do not read or reply to emails containing long descriptions, introductions, resumes, CVs, and other attachements.


Winter 2015: TBD
Fall 2014: TBD
Winter 2014: CPSC 601.29: Information Systems Security Analysis (graduate seminar)
Winter 2014: CPSC 355: Computing Machinery I
Fall 2013: CPSC 457: Principles of Operating Systems
Winter 2013: CPSC 525/625: Principles of Computer Security
Winter 2013: CPSC 457: Principles of Operating Systems
Fall 2012: CPSC 601.65: Cyberwar, Cyberterror, and Cyberprotest (graduate seminar)
Winter 2012: CPSC 457: Principles of Operating Systems
Fall 2011: CPSC 601.29: Information Systems Security Analysis (graduate seminar)
Winter 2011: CPSC 601.29: Information Systems Security Analysis (graduate seminar)

For OS students: a playful "Ode to Real Mode Setup Code"


My current CV (html). Also, a Wordle of my paper titles.

My research group: Trustworthy Systems Group

A Wordle of Academic Systems Security topics in Call-for-Papers topic lists


A list of my recent internal and external service:

  Program Committee, TRUST 2014
  co-Organizer, IEEE SPW LangSec Workshop 2014
  Finance Chair, IEEE Security & Privacy 2014
  Local Chair, NSPW 2013
  Program co-Chair, ACNS 2013
  Program Chair,
ACSAC 2012
  Program Committee, NSPW 2012
  Program Committee, PST 2012
  Program Committee, USENIX HotCloud 2012
  Program Committee, ACNS 2012
  Faculty of Science revenue generation subcommittee
  Grad. Award subcommittee / Graduate Affairs Committee
  CPSC operations committee
  ISPIA Exec and Steering committee

Contact Information

email: prof . locasto AT gmail.com (please read the Email Charter)
  Due to the University of Calgary's email policies, I do not use my University email account.
  Any email sent there will experience a long processing delay.
  Please encrypt any e-mail you send me with my public key.
  I am slow to reply to unencrypted email.
  GnuPG key: public RSA key (expires 2018)

twitter: mlocasto
video: G+ hangouts: prof.locasto
phone: +1 (403) 210 6307 (office; useless. any voicemail left here is typically eaten by gremlins)
office location: ICT 643
land mail:
   Michael Locasto
   University of Calgary
   Department of Computer Science
   ICT 602, 2500 University Drive NW
   Calgary, Alberta
   T2N 1N4
office hours: Monday 10:15-12:15 (for CPSC355) or by appointment

last update: 7 April 2014