Monday, June 18, 2012

Hi all,

I'm Mike Vitousek, a first-year PhD student at University of Colorado at Boulder. This trip was my first visit to China, my first PLDI or ECOOP, my first presented technical talk, and the second conference I've attended. It was, of course, a really great experience!

I gave my first technical talk on the first day of the conference (at STOP, not at the main conference) and it was a great experience. In a lot of ways it was an ideal first talk, I think -- it was at a workshop filled with people who were all directly interested in the kinds of work that I'm doing. I was also proposing something somewhat controversial* so I got to experience (constructive) criticism of our ideas -- definitely a good thing! The rest of the STOP workshop was great too; I'm definitely interested in the dependent types in Javascript work that was presented and I'll be tracking the work on Big Bang with interest.

Beyond that, I liked a whole lot of the talks and sessions at PLDI and ECOOP. Some standouts for me were Hackett and Guo's work on Javascript type inference, the work from Rice on gradual permissions, the formal C# tutorial and the Grace tutorial. In addition, I really enjoyed meeting lots of people at PLDI, and there are a lot of people there that I hope to speak with and maybe work with in the future.

Basically, the trip was awesome and I'm really glad I was able to go on it. It made me think, and made me think about how I think. I'm looking forward to the next one!

* We proposed an approach to gradual typing that results in casts on objects permanently and monotonically making the object's type more specific, which could cause flow-sensitivity and "spooky action-at-a-distance." Check it out here:

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