Boston-Area PL/Type Theory

Last night saw the first meeting of the Boston-Area PL/Type Theory group that I put together on Meetup.com (link).  This was an initial meet-and-greet and organizing meeting, intended to serve as a brainstorming session for what to do next.

I’m pleased with the outcome of this meeting.  We were joined by a number of folks from the Boston Haskell community as well as Adam Chlipala of MIT.  Adam suggested that we use space in the MIT computer science department for our events, which seems to be the most advantageous option for several reasons.

We also had a productive discussion about the mission of the group, in particular how to deal with the fact that we will have a rather wide variation in the level of knowledge among members.  The idea came forward that we have different “tracks” of events geared towards different experience levels and goals.  Three distinct tracks emerged from the discussion:

  • Beginners: Featuring events like introductory lectures and group dial-ins to the internet type theory group’s sessions
  • Experienced: Featuring events like a reading group and discussions of and/or lectures on advanced topics
  • “Do Stuff”: Geared towards active work on research and projects, featuring unconference-style events and specific project groups

Some first steps emerged as well.  We decided to have an initial unconference/hackathon (on the “do stuff” track) at some point in February.  We also decided to set up a GitHub group for maintaining the group page, as well as any other projects that happen.  We will surely find other venues for organizing as time goes on.

It looks like we’re off to a good start, and hopefully we’ll see some interesting developments grow out of this!

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Author: Eric McCorkle

Eric McCorkle is a computer scientist with a background in programming languages, concurrency, and systems.

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