Portrait of Jay Lorch

Jay Lorch

Principal Researcher


I'm a Principal Researcher in the Systems Research Group at Microsoft Research. My research focuses broadly on computer systems, with particular emphasis on distributed systems, software verification, trusted computing, privacy, cloud computing, and energy management.

I love projects that involve building systems, and a major interest of mine is achieving fault tolerance in those systems. I've shown how to deal with server failures in SMART and Shroud, trusted-component power failures in TrInc and Memoir, and improperly behaving participants in decentralized systems like GreenUp and FARSITE. I'm an expert in Paxos and its many variants, having used it in several systems; most recently, in the IronFleet project, my team and I produced the first-ever implementation of Paxos with a machine-checked proof of both its safety and liveness.

In much of my work, I leverage the power of trusted computing to solve difficult problems in security and privacy. The TrInc work shows how a simple trusted device could be leveraged for a great variety of purposes, including efficiently tolerating Byzantine faults, preventing Sybil attacks, preventing BitTorrent under-reporting, and allowing untrusted entities to provide trusted services. The Shroud system demonstrates how a server can use secure hardware to hide difficult-to-hide information hackers can otherwise glean from access patterns, such as who's friends with whom and where someone is looking for local information. And, the Ironclad project shows how to use full-system software verification to enable provably justifiable trust in services that run on trusted platforms in the cloud.






  • Program Committee Co-Chair for NSDI 2019 and P2P 2015
  • Program Committee Member for OSDI 2018, SOSP 2017, IEEE S&P 2016 & 2017 & 2018, NSDI 2016 & 2017 & 2018, WWW 2015, FAST 2014, NDSS 2014, HotOS 2013, ICDCS 2013, Eurosys 2011, IPTPS 2008 & 2009, P2P 2012 & 2013, and MMVE 2010 & 2012
  • Treasurer for SOSP 2015
  • Panelist for NSF Expeditions in Computing 2011
  • Registration Chair for SOSP 2009
  • Sponsorships Chair for SOSP 2007