Colin McDonald

First-year PhD student, Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University

My broad research interests include programming languages, type theory, quantum computing, NLP, and formal logic. I'm particularly fascinated by dependent type systems, linear type systems, and characterizing effects in functional programming languages. I'm starting a CS PhD at Carnegie Mellon University in August 2023!

You can check out what I've been up to recently on my GitHub page.


Exact Recursive Probabilistic Computing. pdf
Chiang, McDonald, Shan. In Proc. of the ACM on Programming Languages. 2023.
Syntax-Based Attention Masking for Neural Machine Translation. pdf
McDonald and Chiang. In Proc. NAACL Student Research Workshop. 2021.
Strong Functional Pearl: Harper's Regular-Expression Matcher in Cedille. pdf
Stump, Jenkins, Spahn, McDonald. In Proc. of the ACM on Programming Languages. 2020.
Elaborating Inductive Definitions and Course-of-Values Induction in Cedille. pdf
Jenkins, McDonald, Stump. Preprint. 2019.


2023 NDSEG Fellow
2023 NSF GRFP Awardee (declined — NDSEG)
2020 Gilman Scholarship Awardee (declined — COVID-19)
2019 U.S. Presidential Scholar


Carnegie Mellon University, August 2023 - Current
Doctor of Philosophy, Computer Science

University of Notre Dame, Class of 2023
Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, Computer Science and Philosophy
Natural Language Processing Group

TA Experience

Fall 2022: CSE 40431 - Programming Languages
Spring 2022: CSE 30151 - Theory of Computing