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Computer Science

Torben Amtoft | Associate Professor

Photo of Torben AmtoftPh.D. - 1993, University of Aarhus, Denmark
Computer Science
M.Sc. - 1989, University of Copenhagen

Computer Science
B.S. - 1985, University of Copenhagen
Mathematics and Computer Science

Contact Information
2179 Engineering Hall
Personal Website

Professional Experience
Dr. Torben Amtoft received a bachelor's degree in mathematics and computer science from the University of Copenhagen in 1985. He then focused on computer science and pursued graduate studies while working as a teaching assistant. After receiving a master's degree from the University of Copenhagen, he received a doctorate from the University of Aarhus (Denmark) in 1993. Amtoft then held several positions as a postdoctoral researcher-- at the University of Aarhus on a project funded by the European Union, then at Boston University on a project funded by the NSF, and after that at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. In 2002, Amtoft joined the department of computing and information science (now computer science) at K-State as an assistant professor. In 2008, he was promoted to associate professor with tenure.

Amtoft's research interest is in programming languages, with a focus on semantics-based program analysis. Initially, his focus was on type and effect systems, in particular for predicting the behavior of concurrent programs. For more than a decade, his main interest has been the analysis of information flow and dependencies, with applications to language-based security and program slicing. In the area of language-based security, Amtoft has extended his seminal work from 2004 (joint with Anindya Banerjee) on logic-based information flow analysis in several directions (in collaboration with John Hatcliff's group at K-State): to include also conditional information flow, and to give a precise analysis of various features found in realistic programming languages such as objects and aliases, procedures, and arrays. Also, he led the efforts to design a system for formal verification of information flow contracts; the idea, implemented in the context of Spark and using the Coq proof assistant, is to let programs carry 'evidence' that they do satisfy certain information flow properties. In the area of program slicing, Amtoft has been able to extend the concept, while providing semantic justifications, to new programming paradigms such as: reactive systems that are designed to run interactively (this was in collaboration with John Hatcliff's group); systems with non-deterministic choices (in collaboration with Mark Harman's group in London); probabilistic programs (in collaboration with Anindya Banerjee).

Academic Highlights
Amtoft has (co)authored one monograph, nine journal papers, 19 conference papers, and four other reviewed papers; in all but six of these publications, he is listed as first author. He received (joint with Anindya Banerjee) the Best Paper Award for the 2004 edition of Static Analysis Symposium.