Ousterhout is a graduate student at MIT, where she is pursuing a PhD in
computer science. Her research interests focus on computer networks and
distributed systems. She received her bachelor’s degree in computer science
from Princeton University in 2013. As an undergraduate, she designed and
implemented a mobile application that enables effective communication, even in
the face of powerful censors capable of sabotaging all centralized
infrastructure. Her work was motivated by the Egyptian government’s BGP attack
during the Arab Spring in 2011, which temporarily disabled the Internet within
Egypt. Amy’s system leverages trust relationships between users to improve data
dissemination in the face of a denial-of-service attack, so that adversaries
cannot easily disrupt communication.
MIT, Amy’s research focuses on enabling programmability in datacenter networks.
Researchers continuously develop new schemes for resource management in
datacenters, which can lead to significant performance improvements for
datacenter applications. However, deploying these schemes in practice requires
modifications to hardware routers in the network, and developing new router
chips typically takes years and can be prohibitively expensive. Amy’s research
focuses on developing an all-software solution that allows users to express their
schemes in software (e.g. C++) and then deploy them quickly and easily in real
networks with real datacenter applications. The hope is that this will
facilitate research and experimentation for developing new schemes, and will
enable adoption of existing schemes.