Please join us in welcoming our newest additions to the Department of Computer Science!

Joël Porquet


Joël Porquet received his PhD in computer science from Sorbonne University (Paris, France) in 2010. Prior to joining UC Davis, he worked in many diverse settings across the private sector and academia, and around the world.




“During my PhD, I was working on designing new security mechanisms for multiprocessor systems-on-chip and learned a great deal about computer organization and the interaction between hardware and software. This specialization opened the doors to a year-long post-doc at Columbia University soon after graduation, focusing on the same topic.

In 2013, I transitioned to working on the lowest level of operating systems: the kernel. During a post-doc at Sorbonne University, I ported the Linux kernel to a massively parallel 96-core processor architecture. I then worked in the industry for a bit and when originally moving to Davis, I was actually part of Google’s modular smartphone Project Ara, that was unfortunately canceled just a few months before its release, as team lead of the Firmware Development Kit and documentation.

When I saw that the CS department at UC Davis was looking for temporary lecturers, I jumped on the opportunity, initially planning on keeping my consulting activities as well. But after teaching ECS 150 (Operating Systems and System Programming) twice in 2017, the interest in teaching that I had developed during my academic years finally prevailed and I started teaching full-time in 2018.

As a newly hired Lecturer with Potential Security of Employment, I am looking forward to embracing this vocation on the long-term. I am particularly interested in developing new tools to improve computer science education, as well as upgrading the introductory computing experience for students.”


Christopher Nitta

Christopher Nitta is a Lecturer with Potential Security of Employment with the Department of Computer Science. Prior to his LPSOE appointment he was an Adjunct Assistant Professor. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California, Davis in 2011. He also received a M.S. in Computer Science and a B.S. in Computer Science and Engineering from University of California, Davis in 2004 and 2000 respectively.


“My teaching and research interests are fairly broad. I am responsible for teaching a wide range of computer science topics such as computer architecture, operating systems, programming languages, database systems, software engineering, and networking. I also teach a course on the fundamentals of transportation technology for the Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS) at UC Davis. In terms of research, I am currently researching dynamic power allocation at the hardware level in order to maximize performance of heterogenous SoCs. I am also working with ITS on an advanced plug-in electric vehicle travel and charging behavior study. As an LPSOE I plan to expand my research into computer science education by investigating student preparedness and performance through the mountains of data available to me. My doctoral research was on large scale on-chip nanophotonic interconnects based on microring resonators, this work culminated with a book titled On-Chip Photonic Interconnects: A Computer Architect’s Perspective. Prior to my doctoral work, my research focus was on plug-in hybrid electric vehicles at UC Davis as part of the FutureCar and FutureTruck student competitions.”


Thilo Gross

Thilo joined the University of California from Bristol, where he was a Reader in Engineering Mathematics and also served as Research Director for one of the two engineering schools. His previous appointments include a group leader position at the Max-Planck Institute  for the Physics of Complex Systems and postdoctoral work in Oldenburg, Potsdam, and Princeton.




In his work he applies a wild combination of nonlinear dynamics, statistical physics, complex networks and data science to almost everything.  His focus is on understanding complex systems in biology, business, social interactions, and particularly in ecology.  He is well known for developing new approaches to complex systems, such as generalized models and adaptive networks. These methodologies have led to breakthroughs including recent work on the climate change impacts on the ecological food web of ancient egypt,  the dynamical interplay between epidemics and the social networks across which they spread, and an analysis of the socio-spatial structure of  British cities.