Michael Clarkson

Michael Clarkson

Senior Lecturer
Computer Science
Gates Hall, Room 461


Michael Clarkson is a senior lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. Previously he was an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at George Washington University in Washington, DC, and a postdoctoral associate at Cornell University. He received a PhD in computer science from Cornell University in 2010, a MS in computer science from Cornell in 2004, a BS in systems analysis from Miami University in 1999, and a BM in music performance from Miami in 1999.

Clarkson's research interests include computer security and programming languages. His work focuses on using principled techniques to define security and to construct secure systems. He is the recipient of an Air Force Young Investigators Award (YIP).

Clarkson is the lead creator of the Civitas voting system. He served as a member of a security review team commissioned by the Florida Division of Elections for an Internet voting pilot project.

Research Interests

The goal of my research is to make it possible to reason about the security of systems. I seek to identify principles and methods for defining security and for building systems that offer security assurance. I employ mathematical models, programming language theory, and logics. I build real systems and analyze their security. I'm specifically interested in the following areas:

  • Security: Electronic voting, security policies, information flow, and cryptography.
  • Programming languages: Semantics, logics, and language-based security; specification and verification of programs.

Selected Publications

  • Grewal, Gurchetan S., Mark D. Ryan, Liqun Chen, Michael Clarkson. 2015."Du-Vote: Remote Electronic Voting with Untrusted Computers."Paper presented at Proc. IEEE Computer Security Foundations Symposium, July (3rd Quarter/Summer).
  • Clarkson, Michael, F R Schneider. 2015."Quantification of integrity."Mathematical Structures in Computer Science25(02): 207-258.
  • Micinski, Kristopher, Jonathan Fetter-Degges, Jinseong Jeon, Jeffrey S. Foster, Michael Clarkson. 2015."Checking Interaction-Based Declassification Policies for Android Using Symbolic Execution."Paper presented at Proc. European Symposium on Research in 1 Computer Security
  • Mardziel, Piotr, Mario S. Alvim, Michael Hicks, Michael Clarkson. 2014."Quantifying information flow for dynamic secrets."Paper presented at Proc. IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (Oakland), May.
  • Clarkson, Michael, Bernd Finkbeiner, Masoud Koleini, Kristopher K. Micinski, Markus N. Rabe, Cesar Sanchez. 2014."Temporal logics for hyperproperties."Paper presented at Proc. Conference on Principles of Security and Trust (POST), April (2nd Quarter/Spring).

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Robert '55 and Vanne '57 Cowie Excellence in Teaching Award (Cornell University College of Engineering) 2015
  • AFOSR YIP Award 2012
  • Intel Foundation Fellowship 2007
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship 2001


  • BM (Music Performance (Piano)), Miami University, 1999
  • BSc (Systems Analysis), Miami University, 1999
  • MS (Computer Science), Cornell University, 2004
  • PhD (Computer Science), Cornell University, 2010