Ali José Mashtizadeh

Assistant Professor
David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science
University of Waterloo
Email: mashti AT
Research interests: Operating Systems, Distributed Systems
[ Twitter | GitHub | Bitbucket | ]

Research Interests

My research interests are in building reliable and easier to manage systems. Often my work spans many layers of the software stack from architecture to the application. I enjoy working across operating systems, distributed systems, architecture, and compilers. You can find more details about my vision, approach, and direction in my research statement.

I've served on program committees for USENIX ATC '22, ATC '21, WIOV '11, and in organizational capacity for SOSP '19.

I am currently looking for Ph.D. students and undergraduates interested in a URA who enjoy designing and building systems.

Please visit the Reliable Computer Systems Group website for more.

About Me

I completed my Ph.D. at Stanford University in the Secure Computer Systems lab. My advisor was Prof. David Mazieres, and I worked closely with Prof. Dan Boneh and Prof. Mendel Rosenblum.

Before starting my Ph.D. at Stanford, I worked for VMware, Inc. as the technical lead for the Storage vMotion and vMotion products. I also designed and built the memory compression cache used by ESX.

I completed my M.Eng. and B.S. in electrical engineering at MIT.


My latest projects are available through my research group's website. You can read about my projects and broader vision in my research statement.

Aurora Single Level Store Operating System

[ website · code ]

SKQ: Schedulable Kqueue

[ website · code ]

Castor: Fast Multi-core Record/Replay

[ website ]

CCFI: Cryptographic Control Flow Integrity

[ code ]

Ori File System

[ code ]

How to Apply?

Before emailing me, please make sure you read the following and provide these documents in any email. I get a lot of emails and will only respond to ones who have followed these guidelines.

Depending on how you submit your application, you may find that the submission box is too short for a typical two-page personal statement. Please feel free to email me your personal statement and a project you wrote.

I only accept students directly into the Ph.D. program except for Waterloo undergraduates. A few Waterloo application documents suggest we only accept Master's students, which is not true and depends on the advisor's style and preferences.

  1. If your undergraduate course work or research is unrelated to mine please explain: Why do you want to study systems?
  2. Provide a code sample that you have written or access to a public git repository.
  3. Provide your personal statement that addresses the following questions:
    • What is your relevant previous experience?
    • What do you want to research and accomplish?
    • What do you want to get out of the Ph.D. program?
    • What do you plan to do once you complete your Ph.D.?
    • If you worked for more than one year, why do you want to go back to school?


University of Waterloo

Fall 2021:
CS350: Operating Systems
Winter 2020:
CS854: Advanced Topics in Operating Systems
Fall 2019:
CS350: Operating Systems
Fall 2018:
CS850: A Historical View on Architecture and Operating Systems
Winter 2018:
CS350: Operating Systems
Fall 2017:
CS854-002: Advanced Topics in Operating Systems


Winter 2015:
CS140: Operating Systems (Instructor)
Fall 2014:
CS244b: Distributed Systems (Teaching Assistant)


Spring 2007:
6.004: Computation Structures (Teaching Assistant)


Google Scholar.


  • Emil Tsalapatis, Ryan Hancock, Tavian Barnes, Ali José Mashtizadeh. The Aurora Single Level Store Operating System In Proceedings of the Symposium on Operating System Principles (SOSP '21). October, 2021.
    [ paper · slides ]
  • Siyao Zhao, Haoyu Gu, Ali José Mashtizadeh. SKQ: Event Scheduling for Optimizing Tail Latency in a Traditional OS Kernel In Proceedings of the USENIX Annual Technical Conference (USENIX '21). July, 2021.
    [ paper · slides ]
  • Emil Tsalapatis, Ryan Hancock, Tavian Barnes, Ali José Mashtizadeh. The Aurora Operating System: Revisiting the Single Level Store In Proceedings of the Workshop on Hot Topics in Operating Systems (HotOS '21). June, 2021.
    [ paper · slides · video ]
  • Ajay Singh, Trevor Brown, Ali José Mashtizadeh. NBR: Neutralization Based Reclamation In Proceedings of the Symposium on Principles and Practice of Parallel Programming (PPoPP '21). Feburary, 2021.
    [ paper · slides · video ]
  • Milad Ghaznavi, Elaheh Jalalpour, Bernard Wong, Raouf Boutaba, and Ali José Mashtizadeh. Fault Tolerant Service Function Chaining, In Proceedings of 2020 Annual conference of the ACM Special Interest Group on Data Communication on the applications, technologies, architectures, and protocols for computer communication. August, 2020.
    [ paper · slides · video ]
  • Ali Mashtizadeh, Tal Garfinkel, David Terei, David Mazieres, and Mendel Rosenblum. Towards Practical Default-On Multi-Core Record/Replay, In Proceedings of Symposium on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems April, 2017.
    [ paper ]
  • Ali Mashtizadeh, Andrea Bittau, Dan Boneh, and David Mazieres. CCFI: Cryptographically Enforced Control Flow Integrity, In Proceedings of Conference on Computer and Communications Security. October, 2015.
    [ paper ]
  • Ricardo Koller, Ali José Mashtizadeh, and Raju Rangaswami. Centaur: Host-Side SSD Caching for Storage Performance Control, In Proceedings of the 2015 IEEE International Conference on Autonomic Computing. July, 2015.
    [ paper ] - Best Paper
  • Andrea Bittau, Adam Belay, Ali Mashtizadeh, David Mazieres, and Dan Boneh. Hacking Blind, In Proceedings of the 2014 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy. October, 2014.
    [ paper ]
  • Ali Mashtizadeh, Min Cai, Gabriel Tarasuk-Levin, Ricardo Koller, Tal Garfinkel, and Sreekanth Setty. XvMotion: Unified Virtual Machine Migration over Long Distance, In Proceedings of USENIX Annual Technical Conference. June, 2014.
    [ paper · slides · video ]
  • Ali Mashtizadeh, Andrea Bittau, Yifeng Frank Huang, and David Mazieres. Replication, History, and Grafting in the Ori File System, In Proceedings of Symposium on Operating Systems Principles. November, 2013.
    [ paper · video ]
  • Adam Belay, Andrea Bittau, Ali Mashtizadeh, David Terei, David Mazieres, and Christos Kozyrakis. Dune: Safe User-level Access to Privileged CPU Features, In Proceedings of the 10th USENIX Conference on Operating Systems Design and Implementation. November, 2012.
    [ paper ] - Best Paper
  • Ali Mashtizadeh, Emre Celebi, Tal Garfinkel, and Min Cai. The Design and Evolution of Live Storage Migration in VMware ESX, In Proceedings of the USENIX Annual Technical Conference. June, 2011.
    [ paper · slides · video ]
  • Irfan Ahmad, Ajay Gulati, and Ali Mashtizadeh. vIC: Interrupt Coalescing for Virtual Machine Storage Device IO, In Proceedings of the USENIX Annual Technical Conference. June, 2011.
    [ paper ]
  • Irfan Ahmad, Ajay Gulati, and Ali Mashtizadeh. Improving Performance with Interrupt Coalescing for Virtual Machine Disk IO in VMware ESX Server, In Proceedings of the International Workshop on Virtualization Performance: Analysis, Characterization, and Tools. April, 2009.
    [ paper ]