Gail photo

Gail E. Kaiser is a Professor of Computer Science and the Director of the Programming Systems Laboratory (PSL) in the Computer Science Department at Columbia University. Prof. Kaiser conducts research in software engineering, software security and software systems, focusing primarily on static and dynamic program analysis and software testing. Her goals are to improve developer productivity, and software reliability and security. Starting in the late-2000s, Kaiser, together with her PhD student Christian Murphy, were among the first to apply software engineering testing techniques, primarily metamorphic testing, to machine learning software. Her recent work also applies ML and NLP techniques to software engineering and security. Kaiser has advised or co-advised twenty PhD dissertations and sponsored over two hundred undergraduate and MS research students. Her lab has been funded by NSF, NIH, DARPA, ONR, NYS Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research, 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, chaired the program committee for the third ACM SIGSOFT Symposium on Foundations of Software Engineering, and served a term as vice chair of ACM SIGPLAN. She has served her department as PhD Program Chair since 1997. Prof. Kaiser received her PhD from CMU and her ScB from MIT. See her CV at and her lab website at for further information.


Prof. Kaiser is on sabbatical during academic year 2019-2020. She will not consider any new doctoral students, she will not take on any new project students directly (although her current doctoral students may solicit project students), and she will not teach any courses.

Prof. Kaiser taught COMS W4156 Advanced Software Engineering in Fall 2018. 4156 is a Systems distribution course for all CS doctoral students and a Systems breadth course for all CS MS students. 4156 is required for the CS MS Computer Security and Software Systems tracks, and a technical elective for all other CS/CE MS tracks and for CS/CE undergraduate tracks. Prerequisite: COMS W3157 Advanced Programming or equivalent. The course covers the software lifecycle using frameworks, libraries and services. Major emphasis on software testing. Centers on a team project.

Prof. Kaiser taught COMS E6156 Topics in Software Engineering in Spring 2019. 6156 is not "more" 4156, and not "more advanced" 4156. 4156 is about doing software engineering, and 6156 is about studying and improving software engineering. 6156 is a graduate seminar (qualified undergraduates are welcome) oriented towards students who aspire to be researchers or technology leaders. Students choose their own forward-looking topics within software engineering, broadly construed, for their presentations throughout the semester, midterm papers and final projects.



Related image







Current PSL Doctoral Students:


Former PSL Doctoral Students, MS GRAs and thesis students, Staff and Visiting Researchers:

  • Taka Ishizuka


Prof. Kaiser's Greatest Achievement 


Prof. Gail E. Kaiser
Columbia University
Department of Computer Science
[office: 607 CEPSR]
[US mail: 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
lab: 212-939-7100
department main number: 212-939-7000


Last updated October 20, 2019 .
Gail E. Kaiser.