NSF Summer School on Programming Languages Registration Open
For the fifth year in a row, graduate students, professors, software professionals and others from all over the world will gather in Eugene to hear about the latest research in formal software verification techniques. Each year, the UO attracts between 30 and 60 participants in a ten-day summer school on formal methods in computer science. The school showcases speakers from academia and industry from Europe and North America. Set to convene in mid-July, the school is now accepting applications for participants at its web site.
The summer school was originally founded by Prof. Zena Ariola in the summer of 2002 with the title "Proofs-as-Programs". The original school featured speakers from Italy, France, the Netherlands, Canada, and the US, representing eight Universities, a non-profit research institute, and a major computer chip manufacturer, who came to talk about the Curry-Howard Isomorphism and its relationship to formal methods of program verification. Each year since then, the summer schools have featured equally diverse panels of speakers on topics of formal methods in security and reliability. The topic for July 2006 will be Language-Based Techniques for Concurrent and Distributed Software.
Although founded by Prof. Ariola, the summer school is being run by Prof. Jeff Foster, from University of Maryland, College Park, and Prof. Dan Grossman, from University of Washington. Prof. Foster was a presentor in 2004 and 2005, and so enjoyed the experience that he convinced Prof. Grossman to continue the school while Prof. Ariola is on sabbatical in Italy. "The summer school is a lot of fun for the students, and it's a great opportunity for them to learn about cutting-edge research is a relaxed, collegial atmosphere," Prof. Foster said.
This year as in the past, students can obtain grant money to cover their expenses in attending the summer school. The event has been sponsored every year by the National Science Foundation , and the organizers expect that to continue. Also this year, ACM Sigplan , the special interest group for programming languages, is returning as a sponsor. Prof. Ariola said, "I think the sponsorship money is really important. Without it, we would not have the diversity of attendees that has been so valuable to the learning atmosphere in the past." The participants have been approximately 50% Americans and 50% from elsewhere in the World. "I like the idea of giving our students the opportunity to share ideas with students from literally everywhere," Ariola said. "There aren't many learning venues like this."
While they are in Oregon, the participants take advantage of everything Eugene has to offer. Jim Allen, a research assistant at UO and native Oregonian, has handled the local arrangements for the group. "I look forward to planning our Sunday off from lecture," he said. "I get to find a good hiking spot like Sutton Creek, Salt Creek Falls, or Crater Lake where I can show off our beautiful landscapes. Of course, I also get to take them to great Eugene spots like Sam Bond's Garage and Renny's Landing."