Rodric Rabbah  Rodric Rabbah photo         

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Principal researcher. Technical lead, Serverless Computing.
Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY USA


Professional Associations

Professional Associations:  ACM

more information

More information:  curriculum vitae  |  medium articles


I'm a principal research staff member at IBM Research and a member of the Cloud Programming Technology group. Prior to joining IBM, I was a research scientist at MIT CSAIL.

I am the lead technical contributor to Apache OpenWhisk, an event based computing model for the cloud, and one of the founders of this effort at IBM Research. I have contributed significantly to the design and implementation of the core architecture. You can find the source code on GitHub. OpenWhisk is the open source platform for research and innovation for serverless computing, which is also known as Functions-as-a-Service. It is production-ready and available as a service via IBM Cloud Functions. It is also deployed by Adobe as I/O runtime.

I am currently pursuing a broad research agenda around programming models and tooling for serverless computing. This is reflected in Composer and the functions shell, which we are now available as technology previews from our group in IBM Research. Composer and shell enable many classes of applications in IoT, workflow orchestration, chatbots, and HPC to take advantage of the promises offered by serverless computing: no infrastructure to maintain, elastic scaling on demand, pay for what you use and not idle time.

If you are a graduate student and interested in collaborating on research topics related to serverless computing, send me your resume.

Before OpenWhisk, I spent several years leading the Liquid Metal project, which I also helped start. It was a research effort that produced a language, compiler, and runtime for high level synthesis of reconfigurable hardware. My other contributions at IBM include computing with spreadsheets, and the content management system for IBM Researchers which is the service behind the web page you are reading right now.

Prior to joining IBM, I spent several years as a research scientist at MIT where I contributed to StreamIt, a language, compiler and runtime for stream programming. I later developed and co-taught a multicore programming primer as MIT OpenCourseWare.

As an undergraduate, and later in graduate school, I made several contributions and supported Trimaran, a compiler and simulator for VLIW architectures. It was particularly rewarding because Trimaran was used for teaching a few compiler courses around the world.

Technical notes

Read more of my articles on Medium.


  • We announced serverless compositions and a new programming shell at Serverless NYC on October 10. Read about it in ZDNet or try it on GitHub and NPM
  • We are also presenting our work at Onward! in Vancouver on October 26.