Chengnian Sun

Chengnian Sun

Associate Professor of Computer Science

University of Waterloo

Associate Professor
Cheriton School of Computer Science
University of Waterloo, Canada

Ph.D. (Aug 2008 ~ Nov 2013)
School of Computing
National University of Singapore


Research Interests

  • Software Engineering
  • Programming Languages

with a focus on software reliability and programming productivity, e.g.,

Misc

Publications

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(2024). FITS: Inferring Intermediate Taint Sources for Effective Vulnerability Analysis of IoT Device Firmware. 29th International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems (ASPLOS).

(2024). An Empirical Study of Data Disruption by Ransomware Attacks. 46th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE).

(2024). Mozi: Discovering DBMS Bugs via Configuration-Based Equivalent Transformation. 46th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE).

(2024). LPR: Large Language Models-Aided Program Reduction. ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis (ISSTA).

(2024). Battling against Protocol Fuzzing: Protecting Networked Embedded Devices from Dynamic Fuzzers. ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology (TOSEM).

Teaching

2024

  • CS 241, Foundations of Sequential Programs (Winter)

2023

  • CS 846, Advanced Topics in Software Engineering (Fall)
  • SE 465, Software Testing and Quality Assurance (Winter)

2022

  • CS 846, Advanced Topics in Software Engineering (Fall)
  • SE 465, Software Testing and Quality Assurance (Winter)
  • CS 846, Advanced Topics in Software Engineering (Winter)

2021

  • SE 465, Software Testing and Quality Assurance (Winter)
  • CS 846: Advanced Topics in Software Engineering (Winter)

2020

  • SE 465: Software Testing and Quality Assurance (Winter)
  • CS 846: Advanced Topics in Software Engineering (Winter)

Grants

  • PI, Canada NSERC Discovery, 2024-2029
  • PI, Cisco Research Gift, 2022
  • PI, Ontario Research Fund - Research Infrastructure (ORF-RI) Grant, 2021
  • PI, CFI John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF), 2021
  • PI, WHJIL Project, 2021-2023
  • CO-PI, WHJIL Project, 2020-2022
  • PI, Canada NSERC Discovery, 2019-2024
  • CO-PI, US NSF Grant, SHF:Small:Compiler Validation via Equivalence Modulo Inputs, 2015-2017

Awards

  • Most Influential Paper Award at SANER, 2022

  • Nominee for Best Paper Award at ICSM, 2013

  • ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Paper Award at ASE, 2012

  • NUS Research Scholarship, Singapore, 2008 - 2012

  • ACM SIGSOFT CAPS Fund to Attend ICSE'10 (Merit-Based), 2010

  • NUS Research Achievement Award, Singapore, 2010

  • 2006 IBM Excellent Student Scholarship, China, 2006

  • First Prize in IBM Cup Campus Innovation and Design Contest, Greater China, 2005

Students

For Prospectives

  • Funded Ph.D. openings for self-motivated, technically strong students (master degrees not required).

  • URA, USRA, URF, CS499 for UWaterloo undergraduates.

  • Funded master openings for students who have worked with me.

  • Very few funded master openings for exceptional candidates with strong commitments to convert to Ph.D.

Ph.D. Students

MMath Students

  • Raymond Chang (Sep 2022 ~ May 2024 expected)

  • Yiran (Elaine) Wang (Sep 2023 ~ )

  • Xintong Zhou (Jan 2024 ~ )

Ph.D. Alumni

MMath Alumni

  • Zheyang (Charles) Li (Sep 2019 ~ May 2021)

    • First Employment: Cisco Ottawa

    • Thesis: An Empirical Study on Bash Language Usage in Github

    • TOSEM 2022

  • Yaxin Cheng (Sep 2020 ~ Aug 2022)

    • First Employment: Google Waterloo

    • Thesis: Ape+: A Faster Ape with Static Model Guided Exploration

  • Xueyan Zhang (Jan 2021 ~ Nov 2022)

    • First Employment: Huawei Canada

    • Thesis: On the Caching Scheme to Speed Up Program Reduction

    • TOSEM 2023

  • Gaosen Zhao (Sep 2021 ~ Aug 2023)

  • Aryan Haddadi (Sep 2022 ~ May 2024)

  • Boren Zang (Sep 2021 ~ May 2024)

Undergraduate Students

  • Richella Li

    • 2023 F, Part-time URA
  • Chuqiao Zhou

    • 2023 S, Mitacs International Visiting Student
    • Southeast University
  • Jiale (Tom) Tian

    • First Employment: Master by Research at UIUC
    • FSE Tool 2023
    • 2021 S, Part-time URA
    • 2021 F, Part-time URA
    • 2022 W, CS 499R
    • 2022 S, CS 499T
    • 2022 F, Part-time URA
    • 2023 W, Part-time URA
  • Trusha Shah

    • 2022, F, Full-time Undergraduate Research Fellow, undergraduate from Dalhousie University
  • Jiarui Zhang

    • 2022 S, Part-time URA
    • 2022 F, CS 499R
  • Theodore Wang

    • 2020 F, Part-time URA
    • 2021 W, Part-time URA
    • 2021 S, Part-time URA
    • 2021 F, Part-time URA
    • 2022 W, CS 499R
    • 2022 S, CS 499T
  • Xinru Cheng

    • 2021 S, Part-time URA
    • 2021 F, Part-time URA
    • 2022 W, CS 499R
    • 2022 S, CS 499T
  • Jiabao Zheng

    • 2021 F, Part-time URA
    • 2022 W, Part-time URA
    • 2022 S, Part-time URA
  • Yuchen Wang

    • 2022 S, Mitacs International Visiting Student
    • Beihang University
  • Zidan (Ivan) Shan

    • 2022 S, Part-time URA
  • Gaosen Zhao

    • 2020 S, Part-time URA
    • 2020 F, Part-time URA
    • 2021 W, Part-time URA
  • Clara Xi

    • 2020 F, Full-time CO-OP URA
  • Zhiping Cai

    • 2020 F, Part-time URA
  • Ruitao Lai

    • 2020 F, Part-time URA

Activities

Program Committee

  • 2025: ICSE

  • 2024: ESEC/FSE, ISSTA, ASE

  • 2022: ESEC/FSE

  • 2021: ISSTA; ESEC/FSE Visions and Reflections, ICSME

  • 2020: ESEC/FSE, ICSE SEIP, ESEC/FSE Visions and Reflections, ASE, ICSME, MibileSoft

  • 2019: ISSTA, ASE

  • 2018: ICSME

Journal Reviewer

  • 2017: EMSE

  • 2016: EMSE

  • 2015: TACO, EMSE

  • 2014: TKDE, STVR

  • 2013: IET Software, KAIS

Artifact Evaluation Committee

  • 2017: PLDI, ISSTA

  • 2016: PLDI

Reviewer

  • 2017: ISSTA

  • 2016: SETTE

  • 2015: FSE, CAV

  • 2014: ISSTA, HVC

Experience

 
 
 
 
 
Associate Professor
July 2024 – Present Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
 
 
 
 
 
Assistant Professor
August 2019 – June 2024 Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
 
 
 
 
 
Software Engineer
February 2017 – August 2019 Mountain View, California, USA
 
 
 
 
 
Postdoctoral Researcher
December 2013 – February 2017 Davis, California, USA
 
 
 
 
 
Research Intern
Software Analytics Group, Microsoft Research Asia
April 2012 – July 2012 Beijing, China
 
 
 
 
 
Research Assistant
April 2008 – August 2008 Singapore
 
 
 
 
 
Research Intern
IBM China Research Lab
January 2007 – April 2008 Beijing, China
 
 
 
 
 
Product Validation Engineer
Intel Asia-Pacific R&D Ltd
June 2006 – January 2007 Shanghai, China

Contact