this is a very old photoGail E. Kaiser is a Professor of Computer Science and the Director of the Programming Systems Laboratory in the Computer Science Department at Columbia University. Prof. Kaiser's research interests lie at the boundary of software engineering and software systems, focusing on software reliability, privacy and security, and social software engineering. Her lab has been funded by NSF, NIH, DARPA, ONR, NASA, NYS Science & Technology Foundation, and numerous companies. Prof. Kaiser served on the editorial board of IEEE Internet Computing for many years, was a founding associate editor of ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology, and chaired an ACM SIGSOFT Symposium on Foundations of Software Engineering. She also served on the Committee of Examiners for the Educational Testing Service for three years, and has chaired her department's doctoral program since 1997. Prof. Kaiser received her PhD from CMU and her ScB from MIT. See her CV at


Prof. Kaiser will teach COMS W4156 Advanced Software Engineering in Fall 2015, which focuses on how to develop mobile/web/cloud applications leveraging open-source software, third-party frameworks, and industry-standard project management tools and repositories. The course will cover modern agile processeses, object-oriented analysis and design, and rigorous software testing. This course will teach you more of what employers (in the software industry) expect you to know than any other course offered at Columbia. 4156 is required for the MS computer security and software systems tracks. Undergraduate CS and CE juniors and seniors are strongly encouraged to take the course. MS students from other tracks, PhD students, and non-majors are also very welcome. Important announcement: Although last time I checked the online bulletin still had not been updated, the prerequisite has been changed to just COMS W3157 with no corequisites. There will be no pre-assignment this year (except for students requesting waivers).

Prof. Kaiser's lab is seeking undergraduate and MS project students for Fall 2015 and beyond, with preference for students who might be available for two or more consecutive semesters (possibly but not necessarily including summer). See her lab's website at for current topics.


Slides from Prof. Kaiser's "Distinguished Lecture" at the University of Southern California from April 18, 2013.

Alex Orso's advice on how to get your paper accepted at a top software engineering conference.

Prof. Kaiser's advice on finding "related work" for conference papers.

Prem Devanbu's Review Anti-Patterns.

Automatic Systems Research Topic or Paper Title Generator

Lady Java video


meetings suck

Better yet, hold a conference call!



They also do not post the Honest University Commercial.


Current PSL Doctoral Students:

Former PSL GRAs, Staff and Visitors:


Prof. Kaiser's Greatest Achievement 


Prof. Gail E. Kaiser
Columbia University
Department of Computer Science
1214 Amsterdam Avenue
Mail Code 0401

[express/package delivery:
500 W. 120th St., Room 450]
New York, NY 10027
United States
voicemail: 212-939-7081
fax: 212-939-7084
lab: 212-939-7100
department main number: 212-939-7000

Last updated July 12, 2015.
Gail E. Kaiser.