PLDI itself was a blast. Our paper, "Exploring and Enforcing Security Guarantees via Program Dependence Graphs" was received very well---a number of other static analysis researchers were eager to discuss the techniques we used to implement our precise, scalable analysis. On top of that, our video abstract won best video for our day of the conference.
Between my duties as a student volunteer and the "hallway track," I didn't get to attend all of the talks I hoped to, but some highlights for me were:
- "Automatically Improving Accuracy for Floating Point Expressions" by Pavel Panchekha, Alex Sanchez-Stern, James R. Wilcox, and Zachary Tatlock
- "FlashRelate: Extracting Relational Data from Semi-Structured Spreadsheets Using Examples" by Dan Barowy, Sumit Gulwani, Ted Hart, and Benjamin Zorn
- "Lightweight, Flexible Object-Oriented Generics" by Yizhou Zhang, Andrew Myers, Barbara Liskov, Guido Salvaneschi, and Matt Loring
- "Relatively Complete Counterexamples for Higher-Order Programs" by Phúc Nguyễn and David Van Horn
- "Finding Counterexamples from Parsing Conflicts" by Chinawat Isradisaikul and Andrew Myers
- "Interactive Parser Synthesis by Example" by Alan Leung, John Sarracino, and Sorin Lerner
I wrote a brief overview of some of these papers on my blog. Of course, this list is not an exhaustive list of great papers at the conference!