Keith D. Cooper

L. John and Ann H. Doerr Professor of Computational Engineering
Associate Dean for Research, Brown School of Engineering
Department of Computer Science
Rice University
Houston, Texas, USA
"keith" at ""

Research Interests

Dr. Cooper's research has looked at a wide variety of problems in the translation and optimization of programming languages. Cooper and his group have worked on problems as diverse as interprocedural data-flow analysis (summary problems, parameter aliasing, and pointer disambiguation), on classical scalar optimization (value numbering, combining optimizations, strength reduction, register promotion of pointer-based values, code compression, inline substitution, strength reduction, algebraic reassociation, ...), on register allocation (in Chaitin-Briggs, Chow, and Koblenz-Callahan style allocators), on instruction scheduling, and on intraprocedural analysis (SSA construction, global data-flow algorithms, CFG construction, ...).

For the last fifteen years, Cooper and his group looked at fundamental ways to change the structure and behavior of compilers. That work has variously been called "adaptive compilation" and "compiler-based autotuning." His current interests include

Engineering a Compiler

With Linda Torczon, he has written a textbook on compiler construction, Engineering A Compiler, published by Elsevier Morgan-Kaufmann The second edition appeared in early 2011; the online errata page lists some of the inevitable errors. Elsevier Morgan-Kauffman makes available material for teachers, through its sales reps and its companion web site. A third edition is in preparation.

Administrative Duties

From July 1, 2002 to June 30, 2008, he was chair of Rice's Computer Science Department. While that post has its own psychic rewards, it distracted him from research and teaching. Any queries regarding the Department should be addressed to the current chair, Dr. Vivek Sarkar.

Since July 1, 2012, Cooper has served as Associate Dean for Research of the Brown School of Engineering. In that capacity, he advises the Dean and the faculty of the school on matters of research and policy.


A complete set of publications will appear on this page sometime soon.

Courses Taught

Other Interests