About the Captain

The best way to get to know me is in person.


I have a Ph.D. in Computer Science and have been programming since elementary school. I'll spare you the "Walter is a dynamic, team-oriented, insert buzzwords here" tripe that leads most resumes and just say that I'm a proud geek and have experience in lots of things:

  • User-facing authentication systems, including multifactor authentication, certificates, etc.
  • Online identity management and authentication, OAuth, OpenID, and more
  • Designing and implementing compilers and source code analyzers
  • Static source code analysis and dynamic program analysis, as well as combining the two (it's in my thesis [PDF])
  • Applications of code analysis techniques to security and software test input generation
  • Embedded system development and system integration
  • Autonomous vehicles with complex sensor packages, such as submarines
  • Automated network topology mapping
  • Usual array of languages: C/C++, Java, Javascript, ML, Lisp/Scheme, HTML, XML, LaTeX, etc.
  • Usual array of operating systems: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Android, plus limited experience in some less common ones (Solaris, MVS, VM)

I currently work at Google on the Security Team (Applied Security), doing (mostly internal) information security stuff. They pay me to be a (slightly paranoid) geek.

For eight years I was a PhD student in the Department of Computer Science at The University of Texas at Austin, working with Professor Calvin Lin.

Read more about my research.

I have teaching experience at Cornell and UT. At UT I was the TA for Honors Data Structures and Algorithms (315H) and apparently did well enough that the department gave me their TA award. At Cornell, I was an undergraduate TA leading a discussion section for one year for Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs (312) and prior to that, I was a grader for one and a half years for the same class. I am told that my teaching style is pretty good, or at least very entertaining.

At Cornell, I co-founded the Cornell Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Team, competing in a Navy-sponsored competition to develop fully autonomous robot submarines. Since the first competition, the Cornell team has consistently been one of the top teams.

During my first year at Cornell (1998-1999), I was a part of the Cornell Network Research Group writing network topology mapping software. This lasted until my research adviser, Prof. S. Keshav, left for Ensim.

I have interned twice at International Business Machines. During the summer of 2001, I worked at the IBM Almaden Research Center on a consumer digital media device. During the summer of 2002, I worked at IBM Server Group in Endicott, New York, on pSeries Unix machines (more specifically, the Hardware Management Console and firmware update utility).

For more information, see my resume.


I was unceremoniously dropped into the world in 1981, in Chicago, the son of immigrant parents from Taiwan. I grew up in Bloomington, Indiana, spent the next decade and change being bored, and graduated from Bloomington High School South. While in high school, I relieved boredom by taking classes from Indiana University.

I wound up going to Cornell University for college, mostly because the Cornell Presidential Research Scholars threw money at me. It wound up being a whole boatload of fun as well.

During my time there, I picked up a major in Computer Science, and dabbled in network research, robotic submarines, and even managed to edit a literary magazine. Unfortunately, I never did complete that English major, but I have done some creative stuff.

After college, I was a PhD student at The University of Texas at Austin's Department of Computer Science, working with Professor Calvin Lin on static and dynamic dataflow analysis, program testing, and forensics. If you don't know what that means, don't worry, because I don't either. I successfully defended my thesis in June 2010 and am now therefore Dr. Chang. More information on my research is available.

I am now working at Google, on the Security Team (information security, not physical security), keeping everything safe from hackers and other nasty critters. Make my life easier and choose better passwords, ok?

I am also Jewish ("funny, I don't look Jewish"). After years of people telling me that I'm Jewish even though I was a goy, I decided to give in to reality and convert, putting me one small step closer to my old college nickname "The Rabbi."

I am married to Miriam Robinson Gould and couldn't be happier about it, even if we have differences over the ideal thermostat setting.


I drink lots of wine. My friends think I am knowledgable about this.

I build model ships out of paper. For example, see the Peregrine Galley (1700) an early English sailing frigate. Why paper? Why not?

I collect fountain pens.

I am most definitely a geek.

          -----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK-----
          Version: 3.12
          GCS$/H/C/L/SS d+ s+: a- C++(+++) UL*++>++++ P-- L++(+++)
          E++ W+++@ !N o K w-- O M+ V- PS++ PE- Y++ PGP>+ t@ 5++
          X R@ tv-- b+@ DI+@ D++ G e++++ h--- r+++ y+++
          ------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------


Email me at: walterthechang@gmail.com
Due to volume received, I may not always respond.

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