University of Oregon

Oregon Programming Languages Summer School

Parallelism and Concurrency

July 9-21, 2018; Review July 3-7, 2018

Jim's OPLSS Blog

Things to bring to the summer school:
  • A laptop and an ethernet cable.
  • Soap, shampoo and other personal grooming items.
  • Typically, I tell everyone to bring allergy medication. The main agricultural products in the Willamette Valley are grass seed and mint, so if you are allergic to grass pollen, expect to feel the effects while you are here. Typically, the grass pollen count is worst in June, with the level tapering off as summer progresses. Some students travelling to OPLSS experience pollen allergies for the first time. You can see a complete pollen report at, zip code: 97403 (pay attention to the grass number). Pseudofed is a prescription drug in Oregon, so if you intend to purchase it here, either bring a prescription, or use one of the better, non-prescription alternatives.
  • You should not bring pillows, blankets or towels
The information on student talks is on the schedule page You should let me know if you want to give a talk. The point is to get other participants interested in collaborating with you in the future. A talk should consist of a short presentation of your research followed by an off-the-cuff dialog with the audience. The hall for student talks only holds about a third of the OPLSS participants, so if you want to give a talk, you should send me a title that describes your research and also specifically identifies why someone would be interested in listening to you, but not an abstract - about 10-20 words. (Makes you laugh, makes you cry, leaves you wanting more)

As stated on your invoice, the registration fee is due in May, but the housing and meals charges are not due until you show up in Eugene. If your accounting people prefer, you can make a single payment in May to cover all of your account.

The registration fee is non-refundable, so it would behoove you to not pay it until you have obtained travel documents, if there is a question about whether you can travel to Oregon. By the way, the non-refundability of the registration fee is not our idea — unless you are have a US taxpayer ID, we really cannot refund your money.

Please don't pay for things that don't appear on your invoice! If you want to change your accomodations, please email me and I will send you a corrected invoice which you can pay. It looks very bad to auditors if you pay more money than your invoice shows. If you have extra money lying around, book a trip to Trinidad and Tobago (Hawaii is problematic right now), but do not send it to me unless I have sent you an invoice that indicates that amount on the "total due" line.

You may have visited the credit card site and noticed that there is a Recreation Center Pass available. Generally, people do not choose whether they want this at this time, because the class schedule for Summer Term is not yet posted, and it may happen that the thing you are interested in, for example, using the weight room before lunch, is not going to be possible, given the OPLSS schedule and the weight class schedule. So, you may want to hold off on making a decision about that until the Recreation Center has their hours posted. I checked with them, and there is no scheduled building renovations this year, so the only conflicts will be with scheduled classes. Once they have their hours posted, I will send out an email query, and update your invoice accordingly.

If you have a housing package for a shared room, and you know who you want as a roommate, please let me know by June 9th. I would encourage you not to do this. One of the purposes of OPLSS is to meet people in the field. When putting together the room roster, I try to put Americans with non-Americans, East Coast people with West Coast people, etc, to make sure that you are meeting people you would not otherwise know. If you ask me to put you in a room with your lab partner, I will do that, but you are missing out on part of the point of OPLSS. You already talk about PL research with your lab partner; this should be an opportunity to talk about PL research with someone else. Also, I tend to put people from the same school in adjacent rooms, so it's not like you won't see the people you know.
If you have a housing package, the meals will be served at the Cafeteria. The hours are:
  • Breakfast 7:00 AM - 9:00 AM
  • Lunch 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Dinner 5:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Some common concerns:
Free-Roam/Cage-Free Livestock
Since US law does not specify what it means to raise livestock cage-free, and the Univesity does not have resources to investigate the source of animal products past the USDA oversight at the packing plant. asking for cage-free animal products would just be an invitation for suppliers to lie. Therefore, the dining hall cannot certify that any animal products were or were not produced in cage-free environments.
Vegetarian/Vegan/Raw Foodist
If you are vegan or vegetarian, there should be no problem finding adequate hot and cold food in the cafeteria. If you are raw foodist, there is an extensive salad bar. There is also a large selection of fresh and frozen fruit, although some frozen fruits may be been blanched (heated briefly) before being frozen. You should email me before OPLSS starts if you want a vegetarian or vegan meal for the Sunday excursion.
In general, my Muslim friends suggest there is plenty at the cafeteria, if you stick to the vegetarian offerings.
Kosher is tricky. This surprised me since I know many Jews in town. Talking to my friends and the Jewish Student Union and Hillel and several Rabbis, it seems to come down to "if you live in Eugene, you have to make compromises." It is certainly possible to observe a Jewish-American, not-very-strict, kind-of-kosher, by abstaining from certain foods. In the cafeteria, asking "Is it kosher" is probably not as good an idea as asking for the ingredient list, which the chef will be happy to share with you. The answer to "is it kosher?" is always no, since the cooking utensils and serving vessels are not kosher.
Celiac Disease
Although marking something gluten-free is chic in the US, it is not seen as a medical claim, as it is in England, Canada, or Australia. According to my friends with Celiac Disease, this means that restaurants commonly tell you something is gluten-free when it contains gluten, since 99% of people asking, don't really care, or even know what they are asking. In the cafeteria, asking "Is it gluten-free" is probably not as good an idea as asking for the ingredient list, which the chef will be happy to share with you.
Law School desk outlet profile For Foreign Participants: If you are not from North America, bring a power converter for your laptop. US power outlets are 120 volts at 60 hertz. If you come here without a power adapter, it may take you a number of phone calls and missed lectures to figure out where to get one, so it is probably easier to obtain one from your local apothecary (or whoever sells them in your country) before coming. To operate at the lecture hall, power adapters must have a profile that allows you to plug into an outlet like the picture.

Acceptance has been established for people who applied and received a recommendation before the April 16 deadline. However, grant funding has not been allocated. If you did not ask for a grant, you should have already received notification from me. If you did ask for a grant, you should receive notification from me by the end of the week.

This year, campus construction dictates that we be housed in one of the older halls. Unfortunately, the bathroom and shower facilities are from the 1960's, so the the bathroom consists of a room with a number of metal-encased toilet stalls and open sinks, and the shower room consists of a room with a number of curtained shower stalls.

By default, I will assume you want a shared room in the dorm. I will notify you of your acceptance to OPLSS, and I will ask if the shared dorm room is not what you want, at that time, you should let me know if you want something else. Please let me know if you have mobility problems, so I put you on the first floor.

In the past, very few participants have chosen to stay elsewhere during OPLSS. There is usually lots of discussion that goes on in the dorm, and participants who stay off-campus have felt isolated from this. However, if you want a hotel room near campus, here are a few options that are within 5 blocks of the lecture hall.

Address for Visa Documents

When you get here, the building you will be staying in is:

1595 E. 15th Avenue
Eugene OR  97403

However, do not send mail to that address. Mail addressed to university buildings (as opposed to departments) is returned as undeliverable. Do not have things dropped off at the dorm by other couriers because there is nobody there but us, and we will not be there during the day. There is no phone number at the dorm.

The contact information for visa applications is

Zena Ariola
University of Oregon
Department of Computer and Information Science
1477 E. 13th Avenue
Eugene OR  97403

Address for Mail Delivered by the USPS

US Mail must be delivered to a specific person at a specific department. So, if you must have mail sent to you while you are here, you will have to address it to me:

c/o Jim Allen
Dept of Computer and Info Science
1202 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-1202

Address for packages not delivered by USPS

If you are sending things, such as lost luggage, through a courier service, then you should give them the street addresss for Deschutes Hall

Unfortunately, all of my advice on coming to the United States is based on information from the previous US administation. I cannot offer advice on how to get to the US currently, but the following are the guidelines I have offered successfully in the past.

It is never too early to work on obtaining travel papers to the US.

For non-citizens of the US, you will need the following:
  • Travel papers to leave your country

    Most governments do not care if you leave their country, but the government of your country of residence may require paperwork to release you. To enter the US, your country of citizenship must issue you a passport, which may also be necessary to leave your country. When you leave, make sure you have any papers necessary to return to your country of residence.

  • Travel papers to enter the United States

    Most governments do care if you enter their country, and the US Government is no exception. To enter the US, you need:

    • A Passport from your country of citizenship
    • Electronic pre-approval to enter the US and/or
      a business visa

      Many countries are in the US Visa Waiver Program. Citizens of those countries do not need a visa to enter the US for business purposes. If you need a visa, please read and follow these instructions carefully.

      OPLSS is a Conference, not a Course of Study

      You are coming here on business to attend a scientific conference. OPLSS does not grant academic credit. Although OPLSS takes place on a university campus, it is not a course of study. You need to be clear that you are looking for a B1 business visa. Do not under any circumstances say or agree that you need a student visa. Once you say that you want a student visa or that you want to "study in the US", you will never be allowed to come to the US until you have been accepted into a US degree-granting program.

      It is illegal for us to issue you an I-20 or any other SEVIS document, because you will receive no academic credit from the University of Oregon. These are only required for a student visa. If you are asked for these documents, be very clear that you want a B-1 visa. You will not be able to attend OPLSS on a student visa. If some other institution gave you a SEVIS document, and you will be using it to enter the US to attend OPLSS before or after beginning your studies with them, please ask them about your visa limitations. If necessary, direct them to this page for clarification.

      Be Prepared for your Visa Interview

      Depending on your point of origin, the main thing the embassy will want to know in your interview is that you are not a "risk to emmigrate" to the US. The State Department says you will need to show

      1. The purpose of your trip — The US suggests that you not bring a Letter of Invitation with you; however, since I cannot convince anyone that it is useless, I will send you one; although it will be useless.
      2. Your intent to depart the United States after your trip — It is definitely required that you bring to your interview correspondence from your family members (not residing in the US) indicating that they expect you to return, and documents from your institution indicating that they expect you to return. Failure to prepare for this point may mean failure to obtain a visa. It is not a good idea to have anything sent directly to the embassy, since it is usually discarded unless you bring it with you to your interview.

        What is not helpful is any demonstration of a link, familial or otherwise, to a person residing in the US. Evidence of ties to US residents are generally taken as counter to this requirement. (i.e. If you are attached to people in the US, you might want to remain in the US.)

      3. Your ability to pay all costs of the trip — You must show how you are going to pay for travel and housing. You should have paperwork from whatever institution is paying. If you are paying for yourself, you should have financial statements showing you have funds.

      The decision to grant a visa is left up to the US ambassador to your country and there is no appeal, so be prepared. Talk to others from your country who have attended conferences in the US. Different Ambassadors require different levels of evidence. The University of Oregon has no influence with the US State Department.

If you are concerned about zika, flu or other things you may pick up in Oregon, the Oregon Health Authority has a page for communicable diseases. As of today, you will find on that page that all the cases of Zika were either contracted abroad, or from a sexual partner who contracted it abroad. There are no known cases of Zika being spread by Oregon mosquitoes.
If you are staying in the OPLSS housing and you have concerns about kosher or halal, please let me know and we can discuss accomodations. As an official of the State of Oregon, I cannot legally cooperate with US federal officials if they try to set up a religious registry, so any information you give me about your religion will not be shared with federal officials.
Here, I will be posting updates on registration deadlines, when you should expect to be notified, how to get here, and what to bring, etc.

If you apply (with a recommendation) before April 14, you should hear back from us by April 24. If not, please send me an email asking what happened to your application.

© University of Oregon Department of Computer and Information Science, 1202 University of Oregon, Eugene OR 97403-1202