Kathryn S. McKinley is a Principal Research Scientist at Google. She received her BA, MS, and PhD from Rice University. Her PhD was supervised by Ken Kennedy. Her research interests span cloud systems, programming languages, compilers, runtime systems, operating systems, and architecture with a focus on performance, parallelism, and memory systems. Her current responsibilities include optimizing resources in Google Cloud Systems while meeting availability requirements. Her teams have produced software systems widely used in industry and academia, including the DaCapo Java Benchmarks (31,8000+downloads), the Hoard memory manages (used by OS X), the MMTk memory management toolkit, the Immix garbage collector (used by Hikes RVM, Have, Rubinius, and Scala), the TRIPS Compiler, and the SHIM profiler.

Dr. McKinley is an IEEE Fellow and ACM Fellow. Her research has garnered Test-of-Time awards (ASPLOS, OOPSLA (2), SIGMETRICS, ICS), best paper awards (Middlewear, ASPLOS), IEEE MICRO Top Picks awards (4), SIGPLAN Research Highlights, NVMW Memorable Paper, and CACM Research Highlights (2). Dr. McKinley was honored to testify to the House Science Committee (Feb. 14, 2013). She served as CRA-WP co-chair. She has graduated 22 PhD students. She and her husband have three sons.


The Rice Ken Kennedy Institute is located on the campus of Rice University inside Duncan Hall. Click the map below for directions.

Rice Map


Rice University
Ken Kennedy Institute
6100 Main Street, MS-39
Houston, Texas 77005


Phone: 713-348-5823

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