Alan H. Karp

Alan H. Karp

I am currently an independent researcher working on a new kind of password manager. Previously, I was a Principled Architect at EARTH Computing, which was bringing to market a new way to build data center networks. In my previous position at Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, I designed a highly scalable cloud access security broker. Earlier, I led the Virus Safe Computing Initiative at Hewlett Packard Laboratories< in Palo Alto, California, where we developed a virus safe computing environment for Microsoft Windows. You can learn more about what we did from the video of a talk I gave at Google.


I have a BS in Physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of Maryland. I was an assistant professor of physics at Dartmouth College before spending 15 years at IBM, where I did research in a variety of areas involving large scale scientific computing. I joined HP Labs in 1992 where I worked on tools for debugging parallel programs, the EPIC architecture embodied in the HP/Intel Itanium chip, e-speak, a distributed system for conducting business on the Internet, and automated negotiation before beginning my work on useable security.

Interesting Work

E-speak: Documentation and distributions

Client Utility Demo: A 45-minute video showing the precursor to E-speak

A Gentle Introduction to Capabilities: Explains capability-based access control

Site Password: A tool for managing all your passwords

PubShare: Crowdsourcing Permissions for Group Communications

Polaris is a virus safe computing environment for Windows XP. With Polaris, a virus that happens to run on your machine won't be able to do much harm. For an example, see Polaris: The Movie.

SCoopFS (the "F" is silent): Simple Cooperative File Sharing.

Other Info

Selected Publications

HP Labs Technical Reports

Contact Information


Mailing Address:

837 Ilima Court
Palo Alto, CA 94306

Last updated on Thursday, May 24, 2018