Faculty Directory

Hicks, Michael

Hicks, Michael

Professor Emeritus
Computer Science
Maryland Cybersecurity Center
5246 Iribe Center


  • B.S. in Computer Science from Pennsylvania State University
  • M.S. in Computer and Information Science from University of Pennsylvania 
  • Ph.D. in Computer and Information Science from University of Pennsylvania 


Michael Hicks is a professor in the Department of Computer Science with a joint appointment in the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies. He is a core faculty member in the Maryland Cybersecurity Center and co-director of the Lab for Programming Languages at the University of Maryland (PLUM). 

Hicks's research focuses on using programming languages and analyses to improve the security, reliability, and availability of software. Noteworthy among his research accomplishments is the development of analysis and compilation tools for enabling software to be safely updated without shutting it down. He has explored the design of new programming languages and analysis tools for automatically discovering or remediating software flaws and security vulnerabilities. 

Hicks received the ACM SIGPLAN Doctoral Dissertation Award in 2001, an NSF CAREER Award in 2003, and has won the Department of Computer Science's Faculty Teaching Award three times. Hicks served as program chair for the 2012 ACM Symposium on the Principles of Programming Languages, the premier venue for theoretical contributions to programming languages.

He received a doctorate in computer and information science from the University of Pennsylvania, and then spent one year as a postdoctoral associate affiliated with the Information Assurance Institute of the Computer Science Department at Cornell University. 


  • NSF CAREER Award (2003)
  • ACM SIGPLAN Doctoral Dissertation Award (2001)

  • Cryptography
  • Programming Languages

Hicks Is Named ACM Fellow

This prestigious award recognizes the top 1% of ACM members for their outstanding accomplishments.

MC2 Researchers Present Six Papers at ACM Security Conference

Two of the six papers received honorable mention awards at the annual conference.

Hicks Honored with ACM SIGPLAN Distinguished Service Award

The award recognizes exemplary service and commitment to multiple ACM programming languages activities.

As New Director, Mazurek Expands on MC2’s Momentum

She now leads numerous successful programs and partnerships established by the center’s prior directors, and is developing new ideas and initiatives of her own.

New Postdocs Bring Expertise in Secure Software Development and Usable Security and Privacy to MC2

Ethan Cecchetti and Nathan Malkin will start at the Maryland Cybersecurity Center (MC2) in September.

MC2 Researchers Present 10 Papers at Upcoming Security Symposiums

They will present research on a diverse array of security-related topics at USENIX and SOUPS. 

Maryland Cybersecurity Center Kicks Off Second Year of Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

The fellowship offers an opportunity to work closely with faculty and graduate students in the center.

UMD Team to Receive Distinguished Paper Award at POPL 2021

Their paper presents the first fully verified optimizer for quantum circuits.

MC2 Researchers Have 13 Papers Accepted to Upcoming Cybersecurity Events

The papers highlight the center’s cutting-edge research in programming languages, encrypted databases, and more.

New Faculty Member Brings Wide Range of Secure Software Development Skills

Leonidas Lampropoulos's research focuses on using programming language abstractions to make it easier to write, debug, and reason about software and their specifications

Graduating Students and Postdocs Affiliated with MC2 Accept Positions in Academia and Industry

Being hired by top universities and companies is a testament to their creativity, hard work and ambition.

Hicks Wins NSA’s Best Scientific Cybersecurity Paper Award

Hicks and a team of researchers won the NSA's 7th Annual Best Scientific Cybersecurity Paper Competition.

MC2 Faculty, Students Have Five Papers Accepted to ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security

MC2 researchers are presenting work covering a wide array of security-related topics

Mazurek, Hicks Receive NSF Grant to Study Factors Leading to Insecure Software

Project to focus on the human and organizational factors that contribute toward insecure software development

Mazurek Part of Team Receiving Top Honors in NSA Cybersecurity Paper Competition

Mazurek's team wins the 5th Annual Best Scientific Cybersecurity Paper Competition

MC2 Graduate Students Bring Passion, Innovation to the Field of Cybersecurity

Graduate students say MC2 provides a collaborative and supportive environment for research

Mazurek, Hicks Receive Google Faculty Research Award

Researchers will develop tools/strategies that encourage software developers to write more secure code

UMD Cybersecurity Symposium to Focus on Campus Research, Education Initiatives

5th Annual event to be held Dec. 5 at the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center

MC2 Faculty, Students Present Nine Papers at ACM CCS 2016

UMD presented the most papers at the annual conference

Paper Co-Authored by Gordon, Loeb, Lucyshyn and Zhou Receives Honorable Mention in NSA Competition

Gordon, Loeb, Lucyshyn and Zhou will be honored at Nov. 2 Award Ceremony

First Run of Cybersecurity MOOCs Taught by MC2 Faculty Finishes with a Flourish

First UMD Cybersecurity Specialization Wraps Up with Competition-style Game

UMD Researchers Awarded $3.4M DARPA Grant to Develop Automated Software-Analysis Tools

UMD Researchers Awarded $3.4M DARPA Grant to Develop Automated Software-Analysis Tools

MC2 Doctoral Student Presents Research at HotSoS

MC2 Doctoral Student Presents Research at HotSoS

MC2 Researchers Benefit from Amazon Award

MC2 Researchers Benefit from Amazon Award

Michael Hicks Named Distinguished Scholar-Teacher

Michael Hicks Named Distinguished Scholar-Teacher

MC2 Doctoral Student Spreads His Wealth of Bitcoin Knowledge

MC2 doctoral student Andrew Miller is co-teaching two Bitcoin classes

Hicks Co-Organizes Seminar on Programming Languages and Cryptography

Michael Hicks, a professor of computer science with appointments in UMIACS and the Maryland Cybersecurity Center, recently co-organized a seminar that explored the synergy between programming languages and cryptography.

Winning Teams Announced in Build It, Break It, Fix It Contest

The online contest—conceived by faculty and graduate students in the Maryland Cybersecurity Center (MC2)—drew the interest of students from 61 universities from across the U.S., including 39 students from the University of Maryland.

Online Cyber Contest Challenges Students

Cybersecurity competition challenges students to Build, Break and Fix secure computing systems.

NSA Highlights Papers by MC2 Researchers

NSA highlights papers by MC2 researchers as "Best Scientific Cybersecurity Paper" of 2013.

Hicks Featured on Security Podcast

Dr. Michael Hicks discusses Programming Language Design and Implementation conference.

MC2 Director, Faculty Named to President’s Task Force on Cybersecurity

Jonathan Katz and other MC2 faculty are part of President’s Task Force on Cybersecurity.

Katz Named Director of Maryland Cybersecurity Center

Jonathan Katz, professor of computer science, was appointed to a three-year term.

MC2 Director Talks Small Business Cybersecurity in U.S. News Article

One successful attack can destroy a company. Make sure yours is well-guarded

Cyber Symposium Tackles Policy, Tech, Privacy & More - May 14-15

Maryland Cybersecurity Center showcase event features speakers from academia, private sector, government.

UMD and Sourcefire Announce New Cybersecurity Partnership

UMD and Sourcefire to establish collaborative activities in cybersecurity

UMD and CyberPoint Announce New Cybersecurity Partnership

UMD and CyberPoint's new partnership will promote cybersecurity education and research

UMD and SuprTEK Announce New Cybersecurity Partnership

UMD and Superlative Technologies Inc. will collaborate on cybersecurity education and research.

UMD and Lunarline Announce New Cybersecurity Partnership

New partnership to establish collaborative activities in cybersecurity

UMD and Future Skies Announce New Cybersecurity Partnership

The University of Maryland and Future Skies, Inc. announced a new partnership

Researchers Explore How Cyber-Attackers Think Like Regular Crooks

In unique collaboration, engineer and criminologist apply criminological concepts and research methods to study of cybercrime.

Dr. Michael Hicks to Lead Maryland Cybersecurity Center as Director

Distinguished Professor Praised as Innovative Researcher, Scholar, and Leader