Emma Tosch is currently a Researcher at Northeastern University working with Dr. Chris Martens on generating narratives to explain privacy policies. Tosch was formerly an Assistant Professor of Computer Science in the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences at the University of Vermont. She works in applied programming languages (PL) research, where she treats the process of language formalization — especially the design of domain-specific languages — as a methodological approach to problems not ordinarily considered the domain of PL. She is particularly interested in building languages and tools for data scientists and social scientists and has recently been applying her work in the cybersecurity domain.
Tosch's primary interests are in PL applications to data collection and analysis. Her early work on SurveyMan — a language and framework for designing, debugging, and deploying surveys — won first place in the 2014 ACM student research competition at PLDI, a best paper award at OOPSLA 2014, and a 2015 Outstanding Synthesis Award in the College of Computer and Information Sciences at the University of Massachusetts. Her work on PlanAlyzer — a static analysis tool for programmatically-defined experiments — was recognized as a SIGPLAN research highlight in 2020 and was honored as a Research Highlight in the September 2021 issue of the Communications of the ACM.
Tosch has additionally worked in question answering (natural language processing), evolutionary computation, and explainable AI and has research interests related to causal inference.
Emma Tosch earned her B.A in English Literature from Wellesley College in 2008 before working at a healthcare IT start up. She obtained a post-baccalaureate certificate and M.A. in Computer Science from Brandeis University in 2011 before earning her PhD from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2020.