John Mitchell

Professor of Computer Science, Stanford University

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John Mitchell is the Mary and Gordon Crary Family Professor, professor of computer science, and by courtesy professor of electrical engineering and professor of education. He was previously appointed as Stanford’s inaugural Vice Provost for Online Learning in 2012 and inaugural Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning in 2015. His team worked with more than 500 Stanford faculty members and instructors on over 1,000 online projects for campus or public audiences; transitioned the campus to a new university-wide course evaluation and learning management systems, and initiated the Year of Learning to envision the future of teaching and learning at Stanford and beyond. As co-director of the Lytics Lab and Carta Lab, he has worked to improve educational outcomes through data-driven research and iterative design.  


Recent interviews and articles for the general public include: The Ethics of Emerging Technologies (podcast with Tom Byers and Mildred Cho), Aspen Institute Forum for the Future of Higher  Interview Series - John Mitchell,  and School of Engineering Interviews ”How can we improve online learning?” and “How can we design for security?.”


Mitchell’s past research has focused on computer security, including network protocols, web security, and privacy, as well as programming languages and applications of mathematical logic to computer science.  Relevant publications include Reinforcement Learning for the Adaptive Scheduling of Educational Activities (CHI 2020), Automated Analysis of Cryptographic Assumptions in Generic Group Models (J. Cryptology, 2019),  Evaluating the privacy properties of telephone metadata (PNAS 2016), Third-party web tracking: Policy and technology (IEEE S&P). He is the author of two textbooks, Foundations for Programming Languages (1996) and Concepts in Programming Languages (2002); his over 200 publications have received over 25,000 citations.