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William C. Benton


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Latest news

  • I successfully defended and deposited my doctoral dissertation in December 2008.
  • From 2008 until 2017, I maintained an affiliation with the University via a non-salaried appointment as a Researcher.

Research information


  • My dissertation work, which was supervised by Prof. Charles Fischer, focused on developing novel program analyses to find implicit parallelism in object-oriented programs. My research and development efforts in industry have related to machine learning systems, distributed computing, configuration management, and applications of declarative programming at scale.


  • William C. Benton. Fast, Effective Program Analyis for Object-Level Parallelism. Ph.D. dissertation. University of Wisconsin, December 2008. More information.

Select publications

  • William C. Benton, "Machine Learning Systems and Intelligent Applications," in IEEE Software, vol. 37, no. 4, pp. 43-49, July-Aug. 2020, doi: 10.1109/MS.2020.2985224. Preprint.
  • William C. Benton, Robert H. Rati, and Erik J. Erlandson. Wallaby: A Scalable Semantic Configuration Service for Grids and Clouds. In Proceedings of the Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis (SC '11). Seattle, Washington, USA 12-18 November 2011. PDF (489kb).
  • William C. Benton and Charles N. Fischer. Mostly-Functional Behavior in Java Programs. In Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Verification, Model Checking, and Abstract Interpretation (VMCAI '09). Savannah, Georgia, USA 18-20 January 2009. PDF (408kb), talk slides (396kb). © Springer.
  • William C. Benton and Charles N. Fischer. Interactive, Scalable, Declarative Program Analysis: From Prototype to Implementation. In Proceedings of the 9th International ACM SIGPLAN Conference on Principles and Practice of Declarative Programming (PPDP '07). Wrocław, Poland, 14-16 July 2007. PDF (696kb). © ACM, 2007. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of ACM for your personal use. Not for redistribution.

Projects and software

  • Silex is a library of helpers for doing real-world data science with Apache Spark.
  • I developed DIMPLE, a logic programming framework for rapid development of static analyses and other programs that operate on programs (including preprocessors and interpreters).
  • capricious is a framework for repeatable randomness including a family of pseudorandom number generators and several probability distribution simulators. (capricious is also available as a RubyGem.)
  • Wallaby is a sophisticated semantic configuration service for HTCondor pools (see our SC2011 paper for more information), and Wallaroo is an experimental evolution of Wallaby.
  • Some more projects are linked from my GitHub profile or my personal software page.

Teaching information

Courses I've taught

Generally-useful handouts

Awards and honors

Other information

Things to read

  • Handouts on developing better course materials.
  • Notes on using JUnit for grading CS 302 (beta)
  • Notes on accessing AFS from a Macintosh. (These instructions are UW-specific and have not been tested with OS X 10.5.)
  • A template for writing your dissertation in LaTeX.
  • My personal web site


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