Lillian (Lily) Tsai

About Me

I am a final-year PhD student at MIT in the PDOS group, advised by Professors Frans Kaashoek and Malte Schwarzkopf. My current research aims to design systems for better data protections and security in web applications. I am also broadly interested in multicore performance and scalability, and the application of formal methods in systems.

Besides research, I enjoy teaching, tutor as an MIT EECS communication lab fellow, and am getting my PhD minor in music performance. In my spare time, I love playing violin, reading, hiking, climbing, and exploring the world around me. I am always free to sightread chamber music!


  • Summer 2024+: Will be joining SystemsResearch@Google (SRG) as a full-time SWE/Researcher!
  • 2018-Present: Pursuing my PhD at MIT!
  • 2023: Student Researcher at SystemsResearch@Google (SRG), working with Anastasia Ailamaki, Kim Keeton and Philip Levis.
  • 2019: Research Intern at MSR, working with Stefan Saroiu and Alec Wolman.
  • 2017-18: Fulbright Research Fellow at MPI-SWS in Germany, advised by Prof. Peter Druschel.
  • 2013-17: Got my Bachelor's/Master's degrees in Computer Science at Harvard, advised by Prof. Eddie Kohler.
  • Pre-2013: Grew up in the sunny California Bay Area!


Edna: Disguising and Revealing User Data in Web Applications (SOSP 2023)

Lillian Tsai, Hannah Gross, Frans Kaashoek, Eddie Kohler, Malte Schwarzkopf

Privacy Heroes Need Data Disguises (HotOS 2021)

Best presentation runner-up
Lillian Tsai, Malte Schwarzkopf, Eddie Kohler

CaSA: End-to-end Quantitative Security Analysis of Randomly Mapped Caches (MICRO 2020)

Intel Hardware Security Academic Award Finalist
Thomas Bourgeat, Jules Drean, Yuheng Yang, Lillian Tsai, Joel Emer, Mengjia Yan

Are We Susceptible to Rowhammer? An End-to-End Methodology for Cloud Providers (IEEE S&P 2020)

Lucian Cojocar, Jeremie Kim, Minesh Patel, Lillian Tsai, Stefan Saroiu, Alec Wolman, Onur Mutlu

enClosure: Group Communication via Encounter Closures (MobiSys 2019)

Lillian Tsai, Roberta De Viti, Matthew Lentz, Stefan Saroiu, Bobby Bhattacharjee, Peter Druschel

A Revised and Verified Proof of the Scalable Commutativity Rule (arXiv 2018)

Lillian Tsai, Eddie Kohler, Frans Kaashoek, Nickolai Zeldovich

Concurrent Algorithms in Transactional Data Structures (Harvard Thesis)

Lillian Tsai

Type Aware Transactions for Faster Concurrent Code (Eurosys 2016)

Nathaniel Herman, Jeevana Inala, Yihe Huang, Lillian Tsai, Eddie Kohler, Barbara Liskov, Liuba Shrira