Table of Contents
Australian National University (2021-, Canberra, ACT, Australia)
- Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science
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
Twitter (2020-, 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.
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.
Microsoft Research (2020, Canberra, ACT, Australia)
- Contractor, Research in Software Engineering (RiSE) group
- Supervised by Todd Mytkowicz
- Continuing my internship work
Microsoft Research (2019-2020, Redmond, WA, USA)
- Research Intern, 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.
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
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
ANU University Medal (2020)
ANU Chancellor’s Letter of Commendation (2017, 2018, 2019)
ANU Burton and Garran Hall Distinguished Scholar Award (2017, 2018, 2019)
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
SPLASH Student Volunteer (2020)
- 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
Portable Memory Management Toolkit in Rust. Zixian Cai, Brenda Wang and Pavel Zakopaylo. 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. SAPLING, 2017.