Jason Nieh


518 Computer Science Building
Mail Code 0401

Tel(212) 853-8446
Fax(212) 866-0140

Jason Nieh has made research contributions in software systems across a broad range of areas, including operating systems, virtualization, computer architecture, thin-client computing, cloud computing, mobile computing, multimedia, web technologies, and performance evaluation. Technologies he developed are widely used in major operating system platforms, including Android and Linux, and are built into Arm processors, billions of which ship each year.

Nieh introduced many of the fundamental building blocks for virtualization, which logically divides up a physical computer by running multiple virtual computers on it, each one isolated from the other. Nieh’s contributions to virtualization include private virtual namespaces for lightweight virtualization, now known as containers, software layers and layer repositories that make it possible to compose and manage containers and virtual machines at scale, remote display mechanisms for virtual desktop infrastructure, and hardware and software support for Arm virtualization, including both virtualization support in Arm hardware and the most widely-used Arm hypervisor. Nieh was also the first to show how virtualization could be used for computer science education, creating the first course to use virtualization for teaching operating systems. His research innovations have led to breakthrough products which have proved to be commercially successful and widely-used, and form the fundamental building blocks for much of the computing infrastructure that we rely on as a society. His teaching innovations have also become widely adopted and common practice in universities around the world.

Professor Nieh earned his B.S. from MIT and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University, all in Electrical Engineering.

Professional Experience

  • Professor of Computer Science, Columbia University, New York, NY, 2014 - present.
  • Director, Software Systems Laboratory, Columbia University, New York, NY, 2011 - present.
  • Chief Scientist, CertiK, New York, NY, 2020 - present.
  • Technical Advisor, Bazaarvoice Consent Decree, US Dept. of Justice,Washington DC, 2014 - 2018.
  • Chief Scientist, Cellrox, Tel Aviv, Israel, 2011 - 2017.
  • Associate Professor of Computer Science, Columbia University, New York, NY, 2003 - 2013.
  • Director, Network Computing Laboratory, Columbia University, New York, NY, 2000 - 2011.
  • Chief Scientist, DeskTone, Chelmsford, MA, 2006 - 2007.
  • 1st Scholar in Residence, VMware, Palo Alto, CA, 2006 - 2007.
  • Technical Advisor, Microsoft Consent Decree, States of NY, OH, IL, KY, LA, MD, MI, NC, and WI, 2003 - 2006.
  • Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Columbia University, New York, NY, 1999 - 2003

Professional Affiliations

  • Fellow, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
  • Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

Honors & Awards

  • Google Research Award, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015.
  • Kenneth C. Sevcik Best Paper Award, 2014.
  • IBM Faculty Award, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2012.
  • SIGCSE Best Paper Award, 2012.
  • SOSP Best Paper Award, 2011.
  • LISA Best Paper Award, 2005.
  • Sigma Xi Young Investigator Award, 2004.
  • ACM MobiCom Best Paper Award, 2004.
  • Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award, Columbia Engineering School Alumni Association, 2004.
  • IBM Shared University Research (SUR) Award, 2000, 2004.
  • Department of Energy Early Career Principal Investigator Award, 2003.
  • National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, 2001.

Selected Publications

In The News

  • Michael Roppolo, “Secret keys hidden in Google Play apps pose security risk, researchers find”, CBS News, June 20, 2014.
  • Antone Gonsalves, “Companies warned of major security flaw in Google Play apps”, Network World, June 20, 2014.
  • Dan Goodin, “Secret keys stashed in Google Play apps pose risk to Android users, developers”, Ars Technica, June 19, 2014.
  • Michelle Starr, “Thousands of secret keys found in Android apps”, CNET, June 18, 2014.
  • “Apple apps made to run on Android devices”, BBC News, May 19, 2014.
  • “This software allows iOS apps to run on Android”, CNBC, May 15, 2014.
  • Emil Protalinski, “Research project Cider brings iOS apps to Android devices”, The Next Web, May 13, 2014.
  • John Cox, “MWC: New software virtualizes multiple Android instances on smartphone”, Computerworld, February 2012.
  • Timothy Morgan, “Xen hypervisor ported to ARM chips”, The Register, November 2011.
  • “iPhone and Android Apps 101”, Forbes.com, November 2008.