SPLASH 2021
Sun 17 - Fri 22 October 2021 Chicago, Illinois

The SPLASH 2021 Programming Languages Mentoring Workshop encourages graduate students (PhD and MSc) and senior undergraduate students to pursue research in programming languages. This workshop will provide mentoring sessions on how to prepare for and thrive in graduate school and in a research career, focusing both on cutting-edge research topics and practical advice. The workshop brings together leading researchers and junior students in an inclusive environment in order to help welcome newcomers to our field of programming languages research. The workshop will show students the many paths that they might take to enter and contribute to our research community.

PLMW’s core mission is to foster the development of the next generation of researchers in our community. In past years, PLMW has been organized as a one-day (in-person) workshop with invited talks on research topics and practical advice, with ad-hoc mentoring taking place throughout the day, especially during breakfast, lunch, dinner and coffee breaks. Since the workshop will be occurring virtually this year, we have designed the program to focus more on small-group discussion and mentoring than on presentations. PLMW@SPLASH will consist of a mix of small-group mentoring sessions, where students can chat with mentors in small groups (organized by topics) and large-group “ask-me-anything” sessions. Topics covered will include:

  • How to network effectively at a conference? How to find your cohort? How to find a mentor and what to look for?
  • What communication skills are essential for a research career? To give a good presentation? A good poster session talk? To write an outstanding paper?
  • How do people pick their research area of interest or your advisor/mentor?
  • What are the new, emerging areas in PL/SE?
  • What are the differences between a research career in industry and in academia?
  • What are the important work/life issues researchers deal with?
  • How did PL/SE researchers successfully navigate their training experiences?

More information about the workshop organization will be available soon.

Call for Mentors

Would you be willing to participate in PLMW as a mentor? This will entail: writing a brief (2–4 sentence) introduction describing yourself, your background, and what topics you would be interested in discussing with students. We will share these introductions with all of the students, and then will provide two opportunities for structured mentoring during SPLASH (days and times TBD). During these times, all of the mentors and mentees will access the mentoring workshop on Clowdr and you will meet in small groups. Throughout the conference, we will also encourage mentors to make themselves available to students for conversation.

Mentorship Workshop Application

All students who are interested in attending the workshop must apply to do so. The workshop will be free to attend, and students who are selected to attend the workshop will also receive a free conference registration. More information about how to apply will be available soon.

PLMW is driven by two core values: diversity of the PL community and well-being of its members.

We believe that diversity, equity, and inclusion strengthen the PL community both on an academic and on a personal level. We recognize that members of underrepresented and marginalized groups face unique challenges in their research careers. We are committed to creating a welcoming, inclusive, diverse environment that provides space for all to thrive and breathe. We are also committed to listening to your voices, admitting our mistakes, and working to address systemic issues that exist within the research community.

PLMW values the physical and mental well-being of all members of the PL community. We condemn all kinds of harassment, including sexual harassment. We are committed to talking openly about health and well-being issues that disproportionately affect the academic community, and to fighting the stigma of mental health issues.

PLMW organizers see its role in promoting these values as a three-part mission:

  1. Expose junior students to the PL research community: We want to provide the students with a genuine picture of what a research career in PL is like and with networking opportunities within the field. We want to establish mentoring relationships between junior and senior community members, connecting people from different areas, backgrounds, and geographic locations. In doing so, we place particular emphasis on students who lack exposure to PL research at their home institutions.
  2. Help students acquire skills necessary to successfully navigate a research career. These include technical and non-technical skills, such as reading research literature, technical communication, relationships with advisors, and coping with stressors of graduate school.
  3. Foster diversity and inclusion in the PL community by reaching out to, and mentoring, students from underrepresented groups.

We would like to bring our attendees’ attention to a few SIGPLAN initiatives beyond PLMW that share our values and goals. SIGPLAN CARES is a group of distinguished, senior researchers, available as a confidential resource for anyone who faces discrimination or harassment. SIGPLAN-M is an international long-term mentoring program for programming languages researchers.

Questions? Use the SPLASH PLMW contact form.