You don’t need a 4.0 to go to grad school

Recently on Twitter, Justine Sherry pointed out (in response to hearing about a student afraid to minor in art because they thought it would hurt their applications to computer science Ph.D. programs later) that she’s actually more likely to hire prospective students into her lab at CMU if they have a minor in something “interesting and unrelated” to CS. Her tweet prompted a lot of lively discussion; my colleague Peter Alvaro added that for him, the same policy applies to majors, and I jumped on board with that and pointed out that I don’t think that any other field is actually “unrelated” to CS anyway.

Where and when should you go to PLMW?

Here’s an anonymized question sent to me by a blog reader:

I’m a rising junior at [university], majoring in computer science and math.

I have recently made up my mind about going to grad school for PL and am trying to get as much experience as possible right now. I will be attending [PL-related summer school] in two weeks. I will also be TA’ing [university]’s Programming Languages course and working with a professor on a PL-related research project next term.

My question is, is there any reason why I might want not to apply for PLMW at ICFP 2018 this September, and instead, apply next year? I am guessing I can only attend once, but I am not sure about that either. What are some criteria that I should consider when choosing a specific PLMW? Can you help me make a decision?

Back to school

Friends, I have some big news!

After defending my Ph.D. in 2014, I joined Intel Labs as a research scientist. While at Intel, I’ve gotten to work on some really cool stuff with great collaborators, but for a while now, I’ve been contemplating returning to academia, and last fall I decided to quietly start applying for a few faculty positions.