I am a Ph.D. candidate at Columbia University in the Department of Computer Science. I work in the areas of systems and security and am advised by Simha Sethumadhavan.

My Ph.D. has focused on methods and mechanisms to improve security from the ground-up through secure systems and hardware. I started my Ph.D. trying to leverage in-line cache compression to accelerate system checkpointing. This led to (unpublished) work on an encryption-based Rowhammer defense; the technique didn't pan out but it led to an important conclusion: it doesn't matter how many defenses researchers design if they never get built in real products!

Since then, my research has grappled with this question: What can technologists do to improve security when the roadblocks are not just technical ones? This has been a multi-pronged approach: I first needed to understand the tradeoffs between performance and security, so I conducted experiments that measure how much users value performance. To do this, I developed software that had study participants decide between money and performance with real-world consequences. Later, I delved into how regulation might kickstart security adoption in systems. Our proposal asks systems to spend a fraction of execution cycles on security but lets product vendors themselves figure out how this budget should be spent. To make such a proposal enforceable, I trained a neural network that estimates real-time security overhead based on on-chip hardware events (i.e. HPC data). I also did some industry internships that focused on embedded systems security, authentication, and applied cryptography. I am currently working on modeling cyberinsurance as a mechanism to improve security adoption.

I am currently on the job market! Please reach out if you'd like to chat.

Email: <my last name>


Ph.D., Computer Science 2018 – present (in progress)
Columbia University

M.Sc., Electrical & Computer Engineering 2016 – 2018
Brigham Young University

B.Sc., Computer Engineering 2012 – 2016
Brigham Young University


How Much is Performance Worth to Users?, Computing Frontiers 2023 (video)
A. Hastings, L. Chilton, S. Sethumadhavan

Mechanism Design for Improving Hardware Security, CCC Workshop Report, 2022
S. Sethumadhavan, T. Sherwood, A. Hastings

COMMAND: Certifiable Open Measurable Mandates, pre-print, 2022
A. Hastings, R. Piersma, S. Sethumadhavan

Revisiting Residue Codes for Modern Memories, MICRO 2022
E. Manzhosov, A. Hastings, M. Pancholi, R. Piersma, M. Tarek Ibn Ziad, S. Sethumadhavan

A New Doctrine for Hardware Security, ASHES 2020
A. Hastings, S. Sethumadhavan

Are Computer Architects to Blame for the State of Security Today?, SIGARCH blog post, 2019
A. Hastings, S. Sethumadhavan

Checkpointing at System Calls using BDI Compression, Technical report, 2019
A. Hastings, H. Sasaki, M. Arroyo, K. Williams-King, V. Kemerlis, S. Sethumadhavan

Assuring Intellectual Property Through Physical and Functional Comparisons, Master's thesis, 2018
A. Hastings

Using Physical and Functional Comparisons to Assure 3rd-Party IP for Modern FPGAs, IVSW 2018
A. Hastings, S. Jensen, J. Goeders, B. Hutchings

Looking for something more...adventurous?