Dr. Monica Lam is a Professor in the Computer Science Department at Stanford University, and the Faculty Director of the Stanford Open Virtual Assistant 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 current research is on conversational virtual assistants with an emphasis on privacy protection. Her research uses deep learning to map task-oriented natural language dialogues into formal semantics, represented by a new executable programming language called ThingTalk. Her Almond virtual assistant, trained on open knowledge graphs and IoT API standards, can be easily customized to perform new tasks. She is leading an Open Virtual Assistant Initiative to create the largest, open, crowdsourced language semantics model to promote open access in all languages. Her decentralized Almond virtual assistant that supports fine-grain sharing with privacy has received Popular Science's Best of What's New Award in Security in 2019.
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”. She was on the founding team of Tensilica, now a part of Cadence.
Dr. Lam is a Member of the National Academy of Engineering and an Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) Fellow.