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Galen Hunt

Galen Hunt
PARTNER RESEARCH MANAGER
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I lead the Microsoft Research Operating Systems Group as Principal Researcher.  I currently spend a lot of time thinking about the trade-offs between virtual machine monitors and OS kernels as ways to build new computing systems using Drawbridge.  Previously, I lead the Menlo and Experiment 19 projects and the Singularity project. 

Experiment 19 was a skunkworks project completed in spring 2009 that demonstrated for the first time that Windows NT could effectively replace Windows CE as the core OS for mobile devices.  Within months of the completion of Experiment 19, Microsoft launched efforts to build what would become Windows Phone 8 and Windows RT for ARM tablets.

In 2001, I co-founded the MSR BIG project.  Well ahead of our time, we pioneered many principles of cloud computing.  Over 30 US Patents issued for the cloud computing technologies we developed; the most recent was filed over 2 years before Amazon announced EC2.  During a leave from MSR to move these ideas into Microsoft products, I was the Group Program Manager for Windows Automated Deployment Services. My group created two of the core technologies for Microsoft's Dynamic Systems Initiative: the Dynamic Data Center and the System Definition Model.

Before BIG, I was a Researcher in the Systems and Networking Group. I worked on the Millennium Project; Continuum, a distributed version of the .NET Common Language Runtime (CLR); and Coign, a system that converted existing COM-based desktop applications into client-server distributed applications without access to application source code.  I've worked on running DCOM over System Area Networks (SANs), the Detours package for instrumenting Windows binaries, and a proxy device driver for creating Windows NT user-mode drivers.

As a MSR summer intern, I developed the prototype for the protocol and implementation for what became, after reworking by a cast of hundreds, Microsoft's Advanced Streaming Format (ASF) and Windows Media Player.

I have Ph.D. (1998) and M.S. (1996) degrees in Computer Science from the University of Rochester, a B.S. (1992) degree in Physics from the University of Utah, and an A.S. (1987) degree from Dixie College.

While at the University of Rochester, I was part of Michael Scott's Cashmere team developing fast Software Distributed Shared Memory (SDSM) systems on memory mapped networks. I also modified the GNU Compiler Collection Objective-C runtime to support full multi-threading.

Before graduate school, I lead software development at a small start-up, Software Migrations, Inc.. My greatest achievement at SMI was DPX, an advanced struct-mapping and data-migration tool. We rocked the tax-preparation software market by creating programs that automatically migrated tax records from one tax package to another. With just 5 people, we produced over 100 separate transfer programs each year and ate the lunch of everyone else in the business. It was an excellent experiment in leveraging automated software development tools.

As an undergraduate, I contributed to the Linux 0.11 text console driver. Before that, I started programming in C as a teenager.

Personal

Aside from systems research, my biggest interests are my wife, my daughter, my son, and church.  I'm a seventh generation mormon.  My wife thinks I spend too much time with computers; my daughter and son tend to agree. They all smile when I come home from work and that makes me smile.

Interns

  • Don Porter (2009) created a user-mode version of the Win32k subsystem to allow complete Windows application isolation for sandboxing, legacy compatibility, and process migration.
  • Aaron Shulman (2008), prototype kiosk scenarios.
  • Ryan Braud (2007) prototyped kiosk authentication using a TPM.
  • César Spessot (2006) ported a subset of SQL to Singularity.
  • Mike Spear (2005) created an entirely declarative I/O device driver configuration system for Singularity.
  • Prince Mahajan (2004) wrote a number of device drivers and a transacted file system for Singularity.
  • Tom Roeder (2004) worked on Singularity's application abstraction and installer.
  • David Oppenheimer (1999) built a distributed hash table on an unnamed research OS.
  • Rob Stets (1998) created a distributed DCOM-based implementation of the Win32 API called COP (the Component-based OS Proxy).

If you are interested in interning with my team, please see the instructions on our group page

Professional Activities

Refereed Publications

    2014

    2013

    2011

    • Donald E. Porter, Silas Boyd-Wickizer, Jon Howell, Reuben Olinsky, and Galen Hunt, Rethinking the Library OS from the Top Down, in Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems (ASPLOS), Association for Computing Machinery, Inc., March 2011

    2010

    • A. J. Bernheim Brush, Amy K. Karlson, James Scott, Raman Sarin, Andy Jacobs, Barry Bond, Oscar Murillo, Galen Hunt, Mike Sinclair, Kerry Hammil, and Steven Levi, User Experiences with Activity-Based Navigation on Mobile Devices, in Proceedings of MobileHCI 2010, Association for Computing Machinery, Inc., September 2010
    • James Larus and Galen Hunt, The Singularity System, in Communications of the ACM, vol. 53, no. 8, pp. 72-79, Association for Computing Machinery, Inc., August 2010

    2009

    2007

    • Galen C. Hunt and James R. Larus, Singularity: Rethinking the Software Stack, in ACM SIGOPS Operating Systems Review, vol. 41, no. 2, pp. 37-49, Association for Computing Machinery, Inc., April 2007
    • Galen Hunt, Chris Hawblitzel, Orion Hodson, James Larus, Bjarne Steensgaard, and Ted Wobber, Sealing OS Processes to Improve Dependability and Safety, in Proceedings of the European Conference on Computer Systems (EuroSys), Association for Computing Machinery, Inc., Lisbon, Portugal, March 2007

    2006

    2005

    1999

    1998

    1997

    1996

    Patents
    Technical Reports

      2013

      2010

      2006

      2005

      • Galen Hunt, James R. Larus, Martin Abadi, Mark Aiken, Paul Barham, Manuel Fahndrich, Chris Hawblitzel, Orion Hodson, Steven Levi, Nick Murphy, Bjarne Steensgaard, David Tarditi, Ted Wobber, and Brian D. Zill, An Overview of the Singularity Project, no. MSR-TR-2005-135, October 2005

      2004

      1998

      1997

      1996