Thursday, June 27, 2013

PLDI Wrap-Up

PLDI was awesome. I attended all three days of PLDI, most of the TAPAS and PASTE workshops, and a little bit of SOAP. I gave two talks on day two of PLDI; both went fairly well, which I was pleased about. I also gave a low-key lightning talk at PASTE, which was fun. Highlights from the week are numerous, but included:

- Fred Schneider's keynote on programming languages and security. I liked his way of thinking about security as pushing around trust. I think this is a very useful way to view things and it served as an excellent lens for explaining advances in security during his talk.

- Max Schaefer's "Dynamic Determinacy Analysis" talk. The talk was very-well presented and contained some clever ideas. The idea of a sound dynamic analysis seems crazy, but their trick of making the facts collected from the dynamic analysis so specific that they must be sound is quite nice. Looking forward to a careful reading of this paper.

- Xin Zhang's "Finding Optimum Abstractions in Parametric Dataflow Analysis" talk. I am only beginning to understand this work, but the idea of analyzing counterexample trace with a meta-analysis that contains predicates about the limitations of the abstraction in addition to the usual predicates about the property is cool. I'm hopeful that I can use some of these tricks in Thresher once I understand their work better.

- The poster session. Although my poster was in an out-of-the-way part of the conference room, I had an excellent group of visitors who were very patient and thoughtful. I got some good questions and feedback and really enjoyed being able to share my work one-on-one with some folks I had never met.

- Ranjit Jhala's PASTE keynote "Rebooting Type Systems With SMT". Although I am fairly familiar with the "liquid types" line of work, it was neat to see the essence of the work distilled into a short (hour-ish) talk. I'm always excited to see what these UCSD guys will come up with next.

All in all, PLDI was a great experience and I hope to be back next year!

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