Associate Professor

Research interestsTimothy Brecht

Professor Brecht's research interests typically relate to understanding and improving the performance of computer systems and networks. This has lead to research projects spanning a variety of topics including high-performance Internet systems and services; operating systems; parallel and distributed computing; memory allocation and garbage collection; and networking.

Professor Brecht's current research projects include understanding and improving the performance of streaming HTTP video services; cloud computing services; distributed computation systems; and 802.11 (Wi-Fi) networks.

Degrees and awards

BSc (Saskatchewan), MMath (Waterloo), PhD (Toronto)

NSERC Discovery Accelerator Supplement (2012); P.G. Sorenson Distinguished Graduate Lecture, University of Saskatchewan (2001); Nominee: 3M Outstanding Canadian Instructor (1998)

Industrial and sabbatical experience

From 1988 to 1993 (while working on his PhD) Professor Brecht consulted with the Toronto Stock Exchange's Advanced Workstation Division. He administered several UNIX workstations and provided UNIX education. He was responsible for first connecting the Toronto Stock Exchange to the Internet (using UUCP) which provided them with their first email and Internet news access.

From 1996 to 2000 he was a part-time visiting scientist at IBM's Centre for Advanced Studies where he worked on improving the performance of the HPJ (High-Performance Java) system's garbage collector.

In 2000 Professor Brecht spent a sabbatical year at Hewlett-Packard's research lab in Palo Alto. In 2001 he returned to Waterloo but took a leave of absence in order to spend 2001 and 2002 continuing his work with Hewlett Packard. This project concentrated on high-performance Internet server design and implementation and the interplay between such applications, the operating system, and the network.

During his sabbatical in 2008 he spent a year as a Visiting Professor in the Operating Systems group at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), in Switzerland.

He has also consulted for Sun Microsystems, IBM, Alias|Wavefront, and has served as an expert witness.

Representative publications

Ali Abedi and Tim Brecht, T-RATE: A Framework for the Trace-Driven Evaluation of 802.11 Rate Adaptation Algorithms, IEEE 22nd International Symposium on Modeling, Analysis and Simulation of Computer and Telecommunication Systems (MASCOTS), Paris France, September, 2014.

Jim Summers, Tim Brecht, Derek Eager, Tyler Szepesi, Ben Cassell, and Bernard Wong, Automated Control of Aggressive Prefetching for HTTP Streaming Video Servers, 7th ACM International Systems and Storage Conference (SYSTOR), Haifa, Israel, June, 2014.

Ashif Harji, Peter Buhr, and Tim Brecht, Our Troubles with Linux Kernel Upgrades and Why You Should Care, ACM SIGOPS Operating Systems Review (OSR), Volume 47, Issue 2, pp. 66-72, July, 2013.

Rayman Preet Singh, S. Keshav, and Tim Brecht, Cloud-Based Consumer-Centric Architecture for Energy Data Analytics, Fourth International Conference on Future Energy Systems (ACM e-Energy), pp. 63-74, Berkeley, California, May, 2013.

S. Tozer, T. Brecht and A. Aboulnaga, Q-Cop: Avoiding Bad Query Mixes to Minimize Client Timeouts Under Heavy Loads, 26th IEEE International Conference on Data Engineering (ICDE), Long Beach, California, March, 2010.

D. Hadaller, S. Keshav, T. Brecht, and S. Agarwal, Vehicular Opportunistic Communication Under the Microscope, Proceedings of Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services (Mobisys), San Juan, Puerto Rico, May, 2007.

D. Pariag, T. Brecht, A. Harji, P. Buhr, and A. Shukla, Comparing the Performance of Web Server Architectures, Proceedings of European Conference on Computer Systems (EuroSys), Lisbon, Portugal, March, 2007.

T. Brecht, E. Arjomandi, C. Li, and H. Pham, Controlling Garbage Collection and Heap Growth to Reduce the Execution Time of Java Applications, ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems (TOPLAS), 28(5):908-941, 2006.

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