Photo of Daniel Jackson

Daniel Jackson

Professor, Computer Science; MacVicar Fellow
Software Design Group
Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab
Dept. of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Contact | Directions to CSAIL | MIT map | Floor map | Finding my office | Local hotels

Research Interests. I'm interested in finding ways to make software more dependable and easier to use, and to reduce the cost of development. My research to date has focused on lightweight formal methods, in particular Alloy, a language for modelling software that is supported by a fully automatic analyzer based on SAT. I am currently working with my students on design analysis, checking code against designs, generating code from models, constructing end-to-end dependability cases, and the role of conceptual models in ensuring good design.

Quick Links
My book: MIT Press catalog entry, resources, buy from amazon.com
Alloy: website, workshop, Scientific American article
Software Design Group: publications, projects, people, my talks

University Activities. I am the chair of graduate students for computer science ("Area 2"); a member of the CSAIL governing cabinet, the editorial board of the MIT Press, and the advisory board of MEET. I am president of MIT Hillel. I ran Dinner@6 for several years with Irwin Pless. I am currently chairing a task force on learning environments for MITx.

Professional Activities. I chaired a National Academies study on software dependability and certification, and was a member of another study investigating unintended acceleration. I have consulted for many companies; most recently, I worked with Protom International on the design of a new proton therapy machine, and am working with MIT Professional Education and Accenture Solutions on training programs for software engineers. I am a member of IFIP Working Groups 2.9 (Requirements Engineering) and 2.3 (Programming Methodology).

Community Activities. I am a member of the Crystal Lake Working Group in Newton. I started Todah VeZimrah with Joshua Jacobson and was a founder of Yedid Nefesh.

Teaching.
From 6.170, Fa13: A fast (and live) introduction to JavaScript
Fa13, Sp13, Fa12, Sp12, Fa11: 6.170: Software Studio
Sp10, Fa09, Fa08, Sp08, Fa07: 6.005: Elements of Software Construction; Paper about 6.005's design
Sp06: 6.826: Principles of Computer Systems
Sp05: 6.894: Lightweight Formal Methods
Sp01, Sp03, Sp09: 6.033: Computer Systems Engineering
Fa01, Fa02, Fa04, Fa05, Fa06: 6.170: Lab in Software Engineering; Lecture Notes
Sp02: 6.898: Advanced Topics in Software Design
Fa97, Fa99: 6.001: Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs

Photography. Recent portfolios include images of the Stata Center, the building I work in, and Dark Machines, a series of images of laboratory machines commissioned (and now acquired) by the MIT Museum. A photo from this series was included in the annual auction of the Boston Photographic Resource Center. New blog here.

Personal. My father Michael Jackson is a software engineering researcher whose ideas have influenced my work greatly. My brother David is the founder of Seeking Alpha; Tim is a journalist turned entrepreneur.