Table of Contents
Australian National University (2021-, Canberra, ACT, Australia)
- Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science
- Received Australian Government Research Training Program (AGRTP) International Fee Offset and Stipend Scholarship
- Advisers: Steve Blackburn (Google Research, Brain Team; ANU), Mike Bond (OSU), Martin Maas (Google Research, Brain Team)
Australian National University (2017-2020, Canberra, ACT, Australia)
- Bachelor of Philosophy-Science (Honours)
- First Class Honours, University Medal
- Major: Computer Science, Minor: Mathematics
- Advisers: Steve Blackburn, Mike Bond (OSU)
- See here for my thesis
- Received ANU Honours Scholarship (15 on offer each year)
Research and Industry Experience
Google Research (2022-, Pyrmont, NSW, Australia)
- Student Researcher, Brain Systems and Programming Research Team
- Mentored by Qian Ge, and Martin Maas. I also work with Hans Boehm, and Lokesh Gidra from the Android Team.
- I work on understanding the GC costs of the Android Runtime (ART).
Australian National University (2017-, Canberra, ACT, Australia)
- Research Assistant, Programming Languages and Systems Lab
- I work on the MMTk project, supervised by Steve Blackburn. I am one of the main authors of the Rust port of MMTk, making MMTk available to more runtimes than Jikes RVM.
- I’m the sysadmin of a cluster of machines for high-fidelity performance measurements of software systems.
- I previously worked on the Mu Micro Virtual Machine project, supervised by Steve Blackburn and Tony Hosking. I continued the work of building a Mu backend for the RPython JIT compiler.
Twitter (2020-2021, Canberra, ACT, Australia)
- Reliability Engineer, Infrastructure Optimization and Performance (IOP) team
- Mentored by Xi Yang and Yao Yue
- I work on understanding and optimizing the JVM usage at Twitter, with a particular focus on garbage collection.
Microsoft Research (2020, Canberra, ACT, Australia)
- Contractor, Parasail Team, Research in Software Engineering (RiSE) group
- Supervised by Todd Mytkowicz
- Continuing my internship work
Microsoft Research (2019-2020, Redmond, WA, USA)
- Research Intern, Parasail Team, Research in Software Engineering (RiSE) group
- Mentored by Todd Mytkowicz
- I worked on SCCL (Synthesized Collective Communication Library). I built a compiler for MPI-style collective operations, lowering a high level specification into efficient CUDA code. It’s written up here.
Distilling the Real Cost of Production Garbage Collectors. Zixian Cai, Stephen M. Blackburn, Michael D. Bond, Martin Maas. International Symposium on Performance Analysis of Systems and Software (ISPASS), 2022. pdf doi code video
Understanding and Utilizing Hardware Transactional Memory Capacity. Zixian Cai, Stephen M. Blackburn, Michael D. Bond. International Symposium on Memory Management (ISMM), 2021. pdf doi code video
Synthesizing Optimal Collective Algorithms. Zixian Cai, Zhengyang Liu, Saeed Maleki, Madan Musuvathi, Todd Mytkowicz, Jacob Nelson, Olli Saarikivi. Principles and Practice of Parallel Programming (PPoPP), 2021. Best Paper Award. pdf doi code (SCCL) code (MSCCL) video
Concurrent Copying Garbage Collection with Hardware Transactional Memory. Zixian Cai. Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours) - Science, Australian National University, 2020. Advised by Steve Blackburn and Mike Bond (OSU). pdf doi
ANU University Medal (2020)
ANU Chancellor’s Letter of Commendation (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020)
ANU Burton and Garran Hall Distinguished Scholar Award (2017, 2018, 2019)
ANU COMP3710, Computer Microarchitecture
ANU COMP3703, Software Security
ANU COMP3710, Compiler Design and Implementation
- in 2020 Semester 1
- Teaching Assistant
- Course Convener: Tony Hosking
- Lecturer: Ben L. Titzer
- Received ANU CECS 2020 Remote Teaching and Student Experience Awards Notable Mention for exceptional adaptation to remote delivery of course material
Systems, Programming, Languages, and Applications: Software for Humanity (SPLASH), 2022. Organizing Committee, Video Co-Chair.
Programming Languages Design and Implementation (PLDI), 2022. Artifact Evaluation Committee.
Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems (ASPLOS), 2022. Artifact Evaluation Committee.
Systems, Programming, Languages, and Applications: Software for Humanity (SPLASH), 2021. Streaming Operator.
- Monitoring the video streaming and providing technical support during mirrored sessions
Systems, Programming, Languages, and Applications: Software for Humanity (SPLASH), 2020. Student Volunteer.
- Helping with the streaming of the first edition of virtual SPLASH
- See Alex Potanin’s blog post on how we made SPLASH accessible to people in different timezones
ANU PhB Student Mentoring Program, 2019. Mentor.
Distilling the Real Cost of Production Garbage Collectors. Zixian Cai. International Symposium on Performance Analysis of Systems and Software (ISPASS), 2022. YouTube
Understanding and Utilizing Hardware Transactional Memory Capacity. Zixian Cai. International Symposium on Memory Management (ISMM), 2021. YouTube
Portable Memory Management Toolkit in Rust. Zixian Cai, Brenda Wang and Pavel Zakopaylo. Sydney Area Programming Languages INterest Group (SAPLING), 2018.
Micro Virtual Machines. Zixian Cai. ANU PhB Mini Symposium, 2018.
Mu for Dynamic Languages: Retargeting the RPython JIT to a Micro Virtual Machine. Zixian Cai. Sydney Area Programming Languages INterest Group (SAPLING), 2017.