The SNS group is comprised of the following people. Prospective graduate students should apply to Princeton’s PhD program; see the department’s admissions website or this page for more information about joining the SNS group. Princeton undergraduates are encouraged to contact us for research opportunities.

SNS Group, October 2016

October 2016, clockwise from top left: Mike Freedman, Aaron Blankstein, Harris Zhang, Andrew Or, Marcela Melara, Logan Stafman, Amy Tai.


May 2015, Group Breakfast, clockwise from left: Mike Freedman, Aaron Blankstein, Xiaozhou Li, Harris Zhang, Raghav Sethi, Rob Kiefer. Not shown: Mat Arye, Annie Liu, Marcela Melara, Amy Tai.

SNS Group BBQ, May 2011

May 2011, Group BBQ, from left: Jeff Terrace, Nick Jones, Mat Arye, Prem Gopalan, Christine Shue and Hannah, Wyatt Lloyd, David Shue, Xiaozhou Li, Sid Sen, Rob Kiefer, Mike Freedman, Erik Nordstrom
More Pictures…

Group Leader

Mike FreedmanMike Freedman is a Professor in Princeton’s Computer Science Department, where he has been since 2007.  Prior to that, he received a Ph.D. from NYU’s Courant Insitute, during which he spent two years at Stanford University, and S.B. and M.Eng. degrees from MIT.  Mike’s research interests are in distributed systems, security, and networking, broadly defined.  He used to enjoy climbing, hiking, and mountaineering in his spare time, although this little thing called work keeps getting in the way lately.

PhD Students

premAaron Blankstein is a sixth-year Ph.D. student. Previously, he received an M.Eng. and B.S. degree from MIT, where he worked with Barbara Liskov on information-flow control. He is interested in security and distributed systems, and has worked on untrusted cloud services (Frientegrity and CONIKS) and least privilege web services (Passe). He is currently investigating cost-aware caching architectures for multi-tiered datacenter services.
Marcela MelaraMarcela Melara is a third-year Ph.D. student. She previously received her M.S.E. from Princeton and B.S. in Computer Science in 2012 from Hobart and William Smith Colleges. She is interested in security and systems, and is co-advised by Mike Freedman and Ed Felten. She has worked on CONIKS, and is currently investigating IoT application security.
Logan StafmanLogan Stafman is a fourth-year Ph.D. student. He previously received his B.S. from Washington University in St. Louis. He currently works on big data and real-time processing, approximate computing, and efficient datacenter architectures.
Amy TaiAmy Tai is a fourth-year PhD student. She graduated from Harvard University in 2013 with a joint degree in computer science and mathematics. She is interested in the reliability and consistency models of scalable distributed systems and databases.
Haoyu ZhangHaoyu Zhang is a fourth-year Ph.D. student. Before coming to Princeton, he received his B.Sc. in Computer Science from Peking University in Beijing. His research interest lies in distributed systems and networking. He has worked on the Ravana system for fault-tolerant SDN controllers, and stream processing for vision applications (with Microsoft Research). He is currently interested in approximate computing and efficient datacenter architectures.

Masters Students

Postdoc and Graduate Alumni

Muneeb AliMuneeb Ali received his Masters in 2011, co-founded Blockstack and went through Y Combinator. He finished his PhD in 2017 under Andrea LaPaugh with close collaboration with Mike Freedman. Blockstack is building a new decentralized internet secured by blockchains.
Matvey AryeMatvey Arye received his PhD in 2016. Previously, he did his M.S.E. at Princeton and undergraduate at The Cooper Union. He is interested in distributed systems, security, and networks. He has worked on the JetStream project, holistic data aggregation, and video streaming. He joined Timescale after graduation.
Xiaozhou LiXiaozhou Li received his PhD in 2016. He did his undergraduate studies at Tsinghua University in Beijing and Master’s at Penn. Xiaozhou primarily works on high-performance storage systems, including fast cuckoo hashing and load-balanced cluster-level storage with network-level content switching. He joined Barefoot Networks after graduation.
robRob Kiefer earned his PhD in 2016. Previously, he received a B.S. degree at University of Maryland. He worked on mobility and multi-homing in Serval, and is more broadly investigating resource and network management for mobile devices. He joined Timescale after graduation.
Raghav SethiRaghav Sethi received his masters in 2015.. Before coming to Princeton, he received his B.Tech. in Computer Science and Engineering from IIIT-Delhi. He contributed to the SwitchKV project. He joined Facebook’s infrastructure team on stream processing after graduation.
Annie LiuAnnie Liu received her masters in 2015. Before coming to Princeton, she received her B.S. in Computer Science from Peking University in Beijing. She worked on the Espectro security architecture, and joined Google after graduation.
Ariel Rabkin was a postdoc at Princeton from 2012 – 2014. He worked on wide-area data processing and analytics (JetStream). He received his PhD from UC Berkeley in 2007. His dissertation work focused on configuring and debugging systems software via program analysis, and was advised by Randy Katz. Following Princeton, he joined Cloudera, where he builds configuration and management tools.
Scott EricksonScott Erickson received his M.S.E in 2014. He previously received a B.S. in Computer Science from Brigham Young University. His master’s thesis focused on efficient mobile data compression; he joined Amazon after graduation.
premPrem Gopalan received in PhD in 2014 in statistical machine learning. He worked on the Serval project during the first two years of his PhD. In his thesis, Prem developed probabilistic models and scalable algorithms for learning from a variety of discrete data. Prem subsequently joined Voleon, a statistical arbitrage fund management company located in Berkeley, CA.
David ShueDavid Shue finished his Ph.D. in January 2014. Prior to Princeton, Dave received his B.S. and M.Eng. degrees from MIT and worked in industry for a number of years. His thesis focused on multi-tenant resource allocation and performance guarantees in shared cloud storage (Pisces, Libra). Following his Ph.D., Dave joined the Advanced Projects team for the Spanner project at Google.
erik-nordstromErik Nordström was a postdoc and Associate Research Scholar at Princeton between March 2010 and November 2013. He received his PhD in 2008 from Uppsala University in Sweden, where he developed the Haggle architecture. At Princeton, Erik was the technical lead of the Serval project and other projects focusing on mobile devices. He joined Spotify after returning to Sweden, then left to join Timescale.
Wyatt LloydWyatt Lloyd finished his Ph.D. in Spring 2013. His PhD thesis is on COPS and Eiger; systems for geo-replicated datacenter storage. After a one-year postdoc at Facebook, he became as Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southern California (USC).
Sid SenSiddhartha Sen finished his Ph.D. in Spring 2013. He received his S.B. and M.Eng. degrees from MIT, after which he worked in Microsoft’s Network Load Balancing group for a few years before coming to Princeton in 2007.  Sid is interested in the intersection of systems and theory, and is co-advised by Mike Freedman and Bob Tarjan. He is now a Researcher at Microsoft Research — Silicon Valley Campus, although working remotely from NYC.
Jeff TerraceJeff Terrace finished his Ph.D. in Fall 2012, and began as a software engineer at Google Seattle helping them design and build the Google Cloud Platform. His PhD thesis focuses on Sirikata and CDNs for virtual worlds, after having previously worked on CRAQ and Firecoral.
Nick JonesNick Jones completed his M.S. in Computer Science in 2012, with an interest in security. His thesis was on COR, a cloud-based version of TOR-like network anonymity. He began working at Elysium Digital after graduation.
steven-koSteven Ko was a PostDoc at Princeton with Mike Freedman and Jennifer Rexford from 2009-2010, after completing his PhD at UIUC. Afterwards, he started as an assistant professor of computer science at SUNY Buffalo.

Undergraduate Alumni (Very Partial List)

Amy OusterhoutAmy Ousterhout was an undergraduate in the Computer Science department (Class of 2013). During 2011-2012, she worked on a distributed system that enables mobile communication in the face of active censorship, called SCRAM. Amy was a recipient of the Hertz Fellowship. She started as a PhD student at MIT in 2013, working in systems and networking.
Michael FranklinMichael Franklin was an undergraduate in the Computer Science department and with the Center for IT Policy (Class of 2013). During 2011-2012, he worked on anti-censorship networking security, specifically trust distribution.
Kay OusterhoutKay Ousterhout was an undergrad in the Computer Science department (Class of 2011). She worked with Sid Sen on securing peer-to-peer groups and datacenter flowlet routing, as well as with David Shue on SCAFFOLD. Kay was a recipient of the Hertz Fellowship. She started as a PhD student at Berkeley in 2011, working in systems.
Patrick WendellPatrick Wendell was an undergrad in the Computer Science department (Class of 2011). He lead the effort to build and deploy DONAR, a replicated server-selection service (for DNS, HTTP, etc.) that offers customers fine-grained policy control. He started as a PhD student at Berkeley in 2011, working in systems. He then co-founded Databricks, where he is currently the V.P. of Engineering.