Computer Laboratory

Oct 2015: I have now submitted my dissertation, and will be joining the PDOS group at MIT as a post-doc after the viva. I am no longer physically in Cambridge; my new MIT website is currently in the works.

I am currently finishing my PhD in the NetOS division of the Systems Research Group at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, under the advice of Dr Steven Hand.

In the 2013/14 academic year, I was also Director of Studies in Computer Science for St John's College and Peterhouse.

On this page, you can find information about my research and teaching activities. I am on Twitter and Github, and also have a (rather information-sparse) personal website.


In am interested in the areas of operating systems and large scale distributed systems, and my work often incorporates and combines elements of both.

Much of my work is part of the Cambridge Systems at Scale (CamSaS) effort to build a new systems software stack for large-scale data centres, which I co-lead.

  • DIOS: a new distributed operating system for "warehouse-scale data centres", centred around a new system call API based on distributed objects.
  • Firmament: a highly flexible, configurable cluster scheduler, which uses flow network optimisation to make high-quality task placement decisions in sub-second latency.
  • QJump: a network architecture that offers guaranteed latency messaging for data centre networking. [NSDI 2015 paper]
  • Musketeer: a workflow manager for "big data" analytics that dynamically maps workflows to several different data processing engines, including Hadoop, Spark, Naiad and others. [EuroSys 2015 paper]
  • Omega: a new approach to cluster scheduler architecture, with independent, distributed schedulers making optimistically concurrent changes to shared state. I worked on Omage while interning at Google. [EuroSys 2013 paper]
  • Ciel: a distributed execution engine that spawns tasks dynamically during job execution, allowing, for example, data-dependent iteration to be expressed within a single job. [NSDI 2011 paper]

I also curate our database of inter-process communication performance (IPC) measurements, and run the NetOS group's weekly operating systems reading group, in which we read both seminal papers from the past and modern publications in the general area of OS research.

Once upton a time, I wrote my undergraduate dissertation in Computer Vision, investigating interactive 3D structure-from-motion.

Selected publications

A full list of my publications is available on the publications page.

Supervisions & teaching

For the academic year 2013/2014, I was the acting Director of Studies for Computer Science undergraduates at St John's College and for Easter term, I was also Director of Studies at Peterhouse.

Over the past years, I supervised a range of courses across all years of the Computer Science Tripos, with a focus on core systems courses.

In addition, I have supervised a number of undergraduate final year (Part II) projects, including three award-winning ones, and co-advised several masters projects.

Contact me


Office phone: +44 1223 763683

Snail mail:
Malte Schwarzkopf
University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory
Willam Gates Building
15 JJ Thomson Avenue
Cambridge CB3 0FD, UK