CertiK Co-Founder Professor Ronghui Gu Honored with VMware Systems Research Award

New York, July 13, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —  CertiK is proud to announce that its co-founder, Ronghui Gu, who is also Tang Family Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University, won the highly regarded 2022 VMware Systems Research Award.

VMware is a global leader in cloud infrastructure and virtualization technology. Established by VMware’s academic sector, the Systems Research Award aims to acknowledge and support promising emerging research in computer science systems. It shines a spotlight on groundbreaking research that has the potential to significantly advance the field of computer science.

Professor Gu is recognized for his fundamental contributions to the theory of systems verification. His work, translating theoretical results into real-world applications for creating bug-free and secure system software, has found novel applications.

Professor Gu’s most distinguished work is his Ph.D. thesis conducted at Yale University. This pioneering work involved the intricate task of certifying the CertiKOS operating system kernel, a complex endeavor encompassing everything from compilers to the fundamental building blocks of the operating system.

Gu’s advisor, and also co-founder at CertiK, Professor Zhong Shao says, “Certifying an operating system is a huge task, involving models of many components ranging from threads and processes to physical and virtual memory management. Ronghui was a main driver to make the CertiKOS vision become a reality: he addressed the complexity of concurrency, and he got the proofs done for a realistic system.”

Professor Greg Morrisett, Dean and Vice-Provost of Cornell Tech, says, “I think CertikOS is a tremendous leap forward, not so much in the artifact itself, but rather in the methodology used for constructing the proofs (though the artifact is also cool).”

“Ronghui’s work represents an important data point in the evolution of formal verification technique,” said VMware Fellow Pratap Subrahmanyam, as quoted by VMWare. “Making otherwise esoteric technologies accessible in practical settings is one reason we value Ronghui’s research.” VMware Fellow Christos Karamanolis added “Ronghui’s depth, breadth, and focus on the advancement of formal methods – including both core platforms and emerging areas such as Quantum Computing – is remarkable and representative of the kind of systems research focus we value in making this award.”

Reflecting his originality, potential for future impact, and the significance of his findings, the VMware University Research Fund will provide a grant of $125,000 to Columbia University in support of Professor Gu’s continuing research.

In 2018, Professor Gu and Professor Zhong Shao, Chair of Yale University’s Department of Computer Science, co-founded CertiK, a leading provider of blockchain security solutions. Leveraging advanced formal verification, AI auditing technologies, and expert manual checks, CertiK monitors the security of blockchain protocols and smart contracts.

The recognition of Professor Gu by the VMware Systems Research Award underscores the advanced level of sophistication that computer science academia has brought to the Web3 arena. Previous recipients of this esteemed award include professors of computer science at Stanford, MIT, Purdue, and Carnegie Mellon University.

About CertiK

CertiK is a pioneer in blockchain security, leveraging best-in-class technology to protect and monitor blockchain protocols and smart contracts. Founded in 2018 by professors from Yale University and Columbia University, CertiK’s mission is to secure the Web3 world. CertiK applies cutting-edge innovations from academia to enterprise, enabling mission-critical applications to scale with safety and correctness.

One of the fastest-growing and most trusted companies in blockchain security, CertiK is a true market leader. To date, CertiK has worked with nearly 4,000 enterprise clients, secured over $360 billion worth of digital assets, and has detected nearly 70,000 vulnerabilities in blockchain code. Clients include leading projects such as Aave, Polygon, Binance Smart Chain, Yearn Finance, and Chiliz.

Hari Govindarajan
PR & Comms Specialist, Luna PR

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