SPLASH 2020
Sun 15 - Sat 21 November 2020 Online Conference
Sun 15 Nov 2020 07:20 - 08:40 at OOPSLA/ECOOP - S
Sun 15 Nov 2020 19:20 - 20:40 at OOPSLA/ECOOP - S

What does a movie about a monomaniacal quest to build an opera house in the Amazon Basin has to do with science? Programming language research is at a crossroads. While formal language techniques are advancing steadily, the transfer of ideas to practice is much slower. Applied research is based on experimentation which is becoming prohibitively onerous. To evaluate any novel idea requires dealing with the complex language ecosystems of the day. Even the simplest innovation may take years of work to try out. Without a realistic evaluation, papers are rejected, and underlying hypotheses remain untested. Academic researchers are in a particularly precarious position. On the one hand, they must compete with industrial R&D teams with massively more resources, and on the other hand, they are beholden to an incentive system that rewards copious publication rates at select conferences. How can we build stuff that matters in such an environment? Are we doomed to failure? In this talk I argue that trying to build stuff is the necessary starting point, failure is expected and should be embraced, as, without it, we are not working on anything that matters. Based on my experience it is possible to navigate the academic system and come up with ideas that occasionally matter.

This talk is given by the recipient of the Dahl Nygaard Senior prize.

Jan Vitek is a Professor of Computer Science at Northeastern University. Dr. Vitek was born in Czechoslovakia and educated in Switzerland. Over the years, he worked on topics related to programming languages, their design, use, and implementation. With Noble and Potter, he proposed the notion of flexible alias control which became know as Ownership Types. He led the Ovm project which produced the first real-time Java virtual machine to be flight tested on a ScanEagle drone (he claims no one was harmed). Outcomes of this project include the Schism real-time garbage collector and the FijiVM – a production VM for embedded systems. More recently, he worked on dynamic languages, trying to make sense of JavaScript and to design a new language called, Thorn. Nowadays, he spends his time with statisticians and data scientists. Jan believes that his 2012 election as Chair of SIGPLAN was an accident; since has been busy trying to rock the boat to ensure this does not happen again. In his spare time, Jan enjoys organizing conferences and sitting on PCs (over 25 in the last decade). He founded the MOS (mobile objects), IWACO (alias control), STOP (gradual typing), and TRANSACT (transactional memory) workshop series. He was the first program chair of VEE and chaired ESOP, ECOOP, Coordination and TOOLS. He was the general chair of PLDI (in Beijing!), ISMM and LCTES. He may still be sitting on the steering committees of ECOOP, JTRES, ICFP, OOPLSA, POPL, PLDI, LCTES, ESOP.

Sun 15 Nov
Times are displayed in time zone: Central Time (US & Canada) change

07:20 - 08:40: SKeynotes at OOPSLA/ECOOP +12h
07:20 - 08:40
Keynote
Keynotes
Jan VitekNortheastern University
19:20 - 20:40: SKeynotes at OOPSLA/ECOOP
19:20 - 20:40
Keynote
Keynotes
Jan VitekNortheastern University