Skip to content Skip to navigation

Monica Lam

Monica Lam

PhD, Carnegie Mellon University, Computer Science (1987)
MS, Carnegie Mellon University, Computer Science (1982)
BS (Hons), University of British Columbia, Computer Science (1980)


(650) 725-3714

Dr. Monica Lam is a Professor in the Computer Science Department at Stanford University, and the Faculty Director of the Stanford MobiSocial Laboratory. Dr. Monica Lam obtained her BS degree in computer science from University of British Columbia, and her PhD degree in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University in 1987. She joined Stanford in 1988.

Professor Lam’s research mission is to disrupt the status quo where centralized monopoly platforms are prevalent and consumers privacy is compromised. This challenging problem led her to ten years of research in many disciplines in computer science: natural language processing, machine learning, compilers, distributed systems, and human-computer interaction. She advocates the development of open-source virtual assistants that users can “program” in natural language; these assistants should be federated to give users choice and to support sharing without a centralized third party. Her research prototype demonstrates a viable open-source alternative to the emerging oligopoly of virtual assistants.

Prof. Lam is also an expert in compilers for high-performance machines. Her pioneering work of affine partitioning provides a unifying theory to the field of loop transformations for parallelism and locality. Her software pipelining algorithm is used in commercial systems for instruction level parallelism. Her research team created the first, widely adopted research compiler, SUIF. She is a co-author of the classic compiler textbook, popularly known as the “dragon book”.

Dr. Lam is a Member of the National Academy of Engineering and an Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) Fellow.