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POPL 2019
Sun 13 - Sat 19 January 2019 Cascais, Portugal
Tue 15 Jan 2019 14:45 - 15:30 at Sala II - PLMW Session 3

What do PL researchers do? Yes, they work on, well, programming languages, but PL research is broader than designing and implementing new languages. To me, a PL researcher is someone who views the programming language as having a central place in solving computing problems. From this vantage point, PL researchers tend to focus on developing general abstractions, or building blocks, for solving problems, or classes of problems. PL research also considers software behavior in a rigorous and general way, e.g., to prove that (classes of) programs enjoy properties we want, and/or eschew properties we don’t. This approach has proven to be very valuable for solving a wide ranging set of problems. In this talk I will flesh out this perspective and draw examples from several different problem areas (including security, quantum computation, and machine learning, along with others) to illustrate how PL is making a contribution.

Slides (WhatisPL-PLMW19.pdf)4.15MiB

Michael Hicks is a Professor in the Computer Science department and UMIACS at the University of Maryland, where he co-directs the laboratory for Programming Languages research (PLUM); he is the former Director of the Maryland Cybersecurity Center (MC2) and the Past Chair of ACM SIGPLAN.

His research focuses on using programming languages and analyses to improve the security, reliability, and availability of software. He is perhaps best known for his work exploring dynamic software updating, a technique with which software can be updated without shutting it down. He has explored the design of new programming languages and analysis tools for helping programmers find bugs and software vulnerabilities, and for identifying suspicious or incorrect program executions. He was worked has combined ideas from PL and cryptography, e.g., to ensure privacy preserving computations. He also leads the development of a new security-oriented programming contest, “build-it, break-it, fix-it,” which has been offered to the public and to students in his Coursera class on software security. He has recently begun to explore programming languages for quantum computation.

He is the editor of the Programming Languages Enthusiast blog and Tweets at @michael_w_hicks.

Tue 15 Jan

Displayed time zone: Belfast change

14:00 - 15:30
PLMW Session 3PLMW at Sala II
Technical Talk: How to Think about Types
Frank Pfenning Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Pre-print File Attached
Technical Talk: What Is Programming Languages Research?
Michael Hicks University of Maryland, College Park
Pre-print File Attached