Recently conferred Chancellor’s Professor Michael Franz receives unrestricted $100,000 gift from Oracle Labs.
Michael Franz has been conferred the title of Chancellor’s Professor, reserved to recognize “scholars who have demonstrated unusual academic merit and whose continued promise for scholarly achievement makes them of exceptional value to the university,” according to the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor. The professorship was effective June 1, 2016, and is conferred for a five-year renewable term, upon recommendation of the dean.
Franz has also recently received an unrestricted gift of $100,000 from Oracle Labs for his work in compiler and language research. This is Oracle’s second gift to support Franz’s research; he previously received $140,000 in 2014. “In a time of shrinking budgets, gifts like these are significant enablers for world-class research at public universities,” Franz says on his website.
Oracle Labs is the research and development wing that keeps the company at the forefront of the computer industry, the company says. “Oracle Labs research is focused on real-world outcomes: our researchers aim to develop technologies that will someday play a significant role in the evolution of technology and society,” Oracle Labs says on their website.
Franz is noted for his work in software systems research, where he focuses on the fields of computer security, trustworthy computing, and software engineering. He has received more than $16 million in federal research funding—$11 million of which was received as sole principal investigator—and more than $1 million in gifts from industry heavyweights like Oracle, Mozilla and Qualcomm Corp. He has twice been recognized for his graduate mentorship, receiving the Dean’s Award for Graduate Student Mentoring in 2007 and again in 2016. He has served as primary advisor for 25 Ph.D. graduates and published more than 130 peer-reviewed research papers. He is both an ACM and an IEEE fellow.
Known as a pioneer in the fields of mobile code and dynamic compilation, where he created an early just-in-time compilation system, Franz contributes to the theory and practice of continuous compilation and optimization, and co-created the early compilation technology used in Mozilla’s Firefox browser. Now, Franz’s work uses compiler, virtual machine, and related system-level techniques to make software safer and faster.