Thursday, June 5, 2014

Hello from Providence, RI

Hi all,

I'm a second year PhD student at Brown University, advised by Shriram Krishnamurthi. This will be my first time attending PLDI, as well as my first time visiting Edinburgh. People keep going "ooh, Edinburgh!" and then suggesting sites to visit, so I look forward to the trip. My thanks to the NSF for helping fund me to attend PLDI.

I'm generally interested in programming languages, with a special interest in syntactic sugar. I'll be presenting in the main conference (Tuesday, Olio, 15:45):

Resugaring: Lifting Evaluation Sequences through Syntactic Sugar
Syntactic sugar is pervasive in language technology. It is used to
shrink the size of a core language; to define domain-specific
languages; and even to let programmers extend their language.
Unfortunately, syntactic sugar is eliminated by transformation, so the
resulting programs become unfamiliar to authors. Thus, it comes
at a price: it obscures the relationship between the user’s source
program and the program being evaluated. 
We address this problem by showing how to compute reduction
steps in terms of the surface syntax. Each step in the surface
language emulates one or more steps in the core language. The
computed steps hide the transformation, thus maintaining the
abstraction provided by the surface language. We make these statements
about emulation and abstraction precise, prove that they hold in our
formalism, and verify part of the system in Coq. We have
implemented this work and applied it to three very different languages.

I look forward to meeting many of you at PLDI!
Justin Pombrio

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