Alexia Massalin

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Alexia Massalin (born Henry Massalin) is an American computer scientist and programmer. Massalin pioneered the concept of superoptimization,[1] and designed the Synthesis kernel [2] , a small kernel with a Unix compatibility layer that makes heavy use of self-modifying code for efficiency.

Since October 1992, Dr. Massalin has held the position of research scientist for MicroUnity, where she is responsible for signal-processing modules and software architecture.[3]


  1. ^ Massalin, Alexia Henry (1987). Randy Katz, ed. "Superoptimizer: a look at the smallest program" (PDF). Proceedings of the second international conference on Architectural support for programming languages and operating systems: 122–126. doi:10.1145/36206.36194. ISBN 0-8186-0805-6. Retrieved 2012-04-25. Lay summary (1995-06-14). Given an instruction set, the superoptimizer finds the shortest program to compute a function. Startling programs have been generated, many of them engaging in convoluted bit-fiddling bearing little resemblance to the source programs which defined the functions. The key idea in the superoptimizer is a probabilistic test that makes exhaustive searches practical for programs of useful size. 
  2. ^ Massalin, Alexia Henry (1992). Synthesis: An Efficient Implementation of Fundamental Operating System Services (PDF) (Ph.D. thesis). Columbia University New York, NY, USA. UMI Order No. GAX92-32050. Retrieved 2012-04-25. Lay summary (2008-02-20). [O]perating systems can provide fundamental services an order of magnitude more efficiently than traditional implementations. 
  3. ^ "Company: MicroUnity". Retrieved 11 May 2012.