Emma Tosch
Assistant Professor, Computer Science
University of Vermont
Center for Computer Security and Privacy


Emma Tosch is 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 scientsts.

Tosch's primary interests are in PL applications to data collection and analysis for social science domains. Her early work on SurveyMan — a language and framework for designing, debugging, and deploying surveys — has 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 recent 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.

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.


  • Domain-Specific Languages
  • Methodology
  • Reproducibility


PhD in Computer Science, 2020
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Post-bac/MA in Computer Science, 2011
Brandeis University
BA in English Literature, 2008
Wellesley College
As time passes it's easy to forget that other people don't know our whole stories, or see us how we see ourselves. I've assembled fun facts about me that, for some reason, people have enjoyed hearing about over the years:

  • I used to dabble in creative writing and have an IMDB page.
  • I also used to be really into literary criticism.
  • I was homeschooled (specifically, unschooled) for five years.
  • I consider my greatest accomplishments to be: (1) learning to play Maurice Ravel's Jeux D'eau and (2) teaching myself to play some of Bach's Inventions on guitar. At present, I can do none of these things.
  • I've held a variety of jobs, including clerk at a Wawa, clerk at an ACMoore, a farmhand, bank teller (very briefly!), and assistant to a mortgage broker, and many others.
  • My family is upwardly mobile and directly benefitted from LBJ's War on Poverty; many in my family are civil servants, especially K-12 teachers.
  • I delayed the start of my academic appointment to do civil service (mostly: volunteer with Arizona Voter Protection) and local election support.
  • Today my hobbies include rock climbing, cycling, and watching T.V. I'm only really good at watching T.V.