A picture of Nathan Ricci
e-mail: nricci01@cs.tufts.edu


Hello! I'm Nathan Ricci. I'm a gradute student in the Department of Computer Science at Tufts University. I work in modern language runtimes, such as the Java Virtual Machines. My research focuses both on improving garbage collector preformance, as well as helping programmers understand how their programs interact with the collector. I am part of the Redline Research Group and my advisor is Sam Guyer.


Elphant Tracks

Elephant Tracks is a tool for generating a trace of events from a Java program. It records all allocations, method entries, exits, field updates, and (the tricky part) object deaths. Further, it is sufficiently accurate that it can place any of these events in the calling context in which they occur. This is useful for prototyping novel GC strategies/memory tools, measuring the memory behavior of a program, escape analysis, and probably many more things that of which I have yet to think.


Heapviz is a tool for visualization of the heap of a running Java program. Since Java heaps have many objects, Heapviz employs a novel algorith to summarize the heap, as well as visualization and interaction techniques to allow the user to examine the heap to find what they are interested in.

Scala Benchmarking

The JVM is now a target for many programming languages, but the predominant benchmark suites are all written in Java. Scala Benchmarking addresses this with a suite of benchmarks written in Scala, allowing researchers to compare them with Java programs. My work on this project was primarily in measuring some of the memory characteristics of the Scala Benchmark suite.

Course Work

Computational Photography

I have not done much work in computational photography (just this single course). But the work I have done has the prettiest pictures of any work I have done (sorry Heapviz).

Hobbies and Fun Things

Ceiling Pictures

Once, I went to a wedding and did not come back with any photographs. A friend of mine was horrified by this, so next time I came back with a picture of the ceiling. Now I have many ceiling pictures.

Martial Arts

I hold a black belt (shodan) in Shotokan Karate, and also practice Brazillian Jiujitsu. Once I somehow won an event at a tournament.


I am not very strong, and do not lift competively, but I do enjoy lifting weights. My current best lifts (in pounds) are: Squat; 385, Bench Press; 225, Press; 170, Deadlift; 410, Power Clean; 200