Emma Tosch is currently a Researcher at Northeastern University working with Dr. Chris Martens on generating narratives to explain privacy policies. She was formerly an Assistant Professor of Computer Science in the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences at the University of Vermont.

Tosch 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 and has recently been applying her work in the cybersecurity domain. Longer bio »


  • 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
Jan 2023  · I spoke about ASP-powered narrative generation for explaining privacy policies on behalf of Chinmaya Dabral and Dr. Chris Martens at ProLaLa 2023.
Dec 2022  · I spoke on the panel On the Curation of Artifacts in the Era of AI/ML for Cybersecurity at the Annual Computer Security Applications Conference (ACSAC), organized by S. Jay Yang.
Dec 2022  · I gave the keynote talk at the Learning from Authoritative Security Experiment Results at the Annual Computer Security Applications Conference (ACSAC), organized by David Balenson.
Nov 2022  · I gave a talk at UNH on formal language support for experimentation as part of the Robotics Seminar Series (host: Laura Dietz).
Nov 2022  · I had another fun and inspiring visit with friends at GMU, where I gave a talk during the SE lunchtime seminar series on formal language support for experimentation (host: Thomas LaToza).
Nov 2022  · Exploring Consequences of Privacy Policies with Narrative Generation via Answer Set Programming was accepted to ProLaLa23; first author Chinmaya Dabral will be presenting in January (co-located with POPL23).
Oct 2022  · I officially started in a new research position working for Dr. Chris Martens at Northeastern University on narrative generation for privacy policies and am looking forward to further collaborations with them in the longer term!
Sep 2022  · I began serving as a coach/mentor for three awesome mentees via the NSF's CSGrad4US program.
Aug 2022  · I resigned from my tenure-track position at UVM.
Aug 2022  · Longtime collaborator Kaleigh Clary presented our (but really it's all hers!) work at USENIX Security 2022. Extra shoutout for her putting up with my Bela Karoliy-esque conference-talk-crafting-style. Also folks, she is a job-seeker!
Jun 2022  · My Formal Methods in the Field grant proposal was accepted for funding by the NSF!! (First try!!)
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.