About

Education

  • PhD in Computer Science with a graduate minor in Music (organ), Cornell University, 2010
  • MS in Computer Science, Cornell University, 2004
  • BS in Systems Analysis and BM in Music Performance (piano), Miami University, 1999

Brief Bio

Michael Clarkson is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. He received a PhD in Computer Science from Cornell University in 2010, advised by Andrew Myers and Fred B. Schneider.

Dr. Clarkson teaches courses on programming languages, computer security, and data science. He most frequently teaches a 400-student course on functional programming, for which he is currently writing a textbook. He is also a contributor to volumes 1 and 3 of the textbook series Software Foundations.

In 2015 he received the Cornell University College of Engineering Robert ‘55 and Vanne ‘57 Cowie Excellence in Teaching Award. In 2020 he received the Kenneth A. Goldman ‘71 Excellence in Teaching Award. Both times the award citation read, “This is highest award for teaching in the college.” In 2021 he was named Professor of the Year by Cornell’s Tau Beta Pi chapter.

During the Spring 2020 semester of emergency remote instruction, he was quoted by Communications of the ACM on his philosophy of teaching: “[emphasize] learning and compassion over grades and logistics.”

Before pursuing a teaching-track career, Dr. Clarkson’s research interests focused on the science of security and electronic voting. He was the recipient of an Air Force Young Investigators Award (YIP). He was the lead creator of the Civitas voting system. He served as a member of a security review team commissioned by the Florida Division of Elections for an Internet voting pilot project.

He has at times been active as a pianist, organist, vocalist, conductor, and composer.