The Archived Materials of the 2020 PL+HCI “Swimmer” School

(PL = programming languages, HCI = human-computer interaction)

“Swimmer”? There’s a long-standing tradition of summer schools, but summer in one hemisphere is winter in the other. We’re open to everyone! So summer + winter = swimmer, and it’s also an expression of our goal: going into a new area can sometimes feel like a swim-or-sink experience, and we want to help you swim!

Yeah, we know, it’s cheesy. But, admit it, memorable.


Social Sessions Organizers


The event was entirely virtual.

The Swimmer School took place over the first week of August: August 3-7, 2020. It was centered around times convenient in the Americas. Sorry, but think of it this way: you get to experience jet lag from the comfort of your home, not in a sterile hotel.

Here was the schedule:

From To Days Topic
10:30am noon daily invited talk + discussion (in this format) + q&a
noon 1pm daily social time for students
12:30pm about 2pm Mon-Thu doctoral symposium (for invited students only)
1pm about 3pm Fri only panel with organizers

The talks begin promptly at 10:30 no matter how many people were signed in. We encouraged folks to sign in by 10:25 at the latest.

In the afternoon, the organizers ran a doctoral symposium. Eligible PhD students were contacted about this. In a doctoral symposium, you, a PhD student, can get feedback about your ideas. You put together a brief description of your topic. We review it for you. This is useful to get out of the “advisor bubble”: we might tell you about concepts you didn’t know, suggest threats you hadn’t considered, introduce you to related work, and sometimes even ask some really basic questions like why are you doing this.

We decided to not have the afternoon discussion groups for various logistical reasons, but the requests gave us plenty of great ideas for a future event!

Speakers, Slides, and Talk Recordings

Day Speaker Slides Recordings
Monday, August 3 Amy J. Ko slides talk
Tuesday, August 4 Titus Barik slides talk
Wednesday, August 5 Björn Hartmann slides talk
Thursday, August 6 Andreas Stefik slides talk
Friday, August 7 Nadia Polikarpova slides talk

There are many great people in this area, and we’re sorry we couldn’t invite all of them. If this goes well, hopefully we’ll have more of them in the future!

Who This Event is Not For

This isn’t a place for you to pontificate about your awesome new language. We’re sure it’s awesome; this just isn’t meant to be an outlet for that. If you are a PhD student, though, you can get feedback about it through the doctoral symposium.

This isn’t a place for people to be exclusionary. We’ll use the SNAPL Friendly Environment Policy.


None, other than our universities! You can change that if you want. (-: