Welcome to Inspirations @ SPLASH'14

Post event

Inspirations is over and according to the participants, it was a great success. Here are some pictures (from one of the panels, and with some of the participants)


Marriott Portland Waterfront hotel. Main event on second floor, Mt Hood conference room. Lunch and Breakfast on second floor, Hawthorne conference room.


This event is collocated with the SPLASH'14/OOPSLA'14 conference, which is a premiere conference in the field of Programming Languages and Software Engineering.

The purpose of Inspirations is to give promising undergraduate students considering pursuing a graduate degree in this field, or new graduate students looking to get a leg up, an overview of what research in this field looks like, and how to get into and succeed in graduate school. In other words, a combination whirlwind tour of this research area, networking opportunity, and how-to-succeed guide.

Inspirations will be held over two days:

  • Friday, Oct 24th, students attend programs from the SPLASH/OOPSLA conference (concluded with a special dinner for Inspirations participants).
  • Saturday, Oct 25th, students attend programs specifically designed for Inspirations

Participation is by invitation only, based on nominations from faculty at U of Washington, U of Oregon, Oregon State, and Portland State.


Prof Danny Dig and Prof Carlos Jensen (Oregon State University). For questions regarding logistics (e.g., hotel, dinner), please contact Sruti (srinivas@onid.oregonstate.edu).



  • Prof Danny Dig (Oregon State University)
  • Prof Carlos Jensen (Oregon State University)
  • Prof Crista Lopes (UC Irvine)
  • Prof Zach Tatlock (U of Washington)
  • Prof Boyanna Norris (U of Oregon)

and a panel of graduate students:

  • Sara Achor (MIT)
  • Milos Gligoric (U of Illinois)
  • Michael Hilton (Oregon State)
  • Brandon Holt (U of Washington)
  • Sruti Srinivasa (Oregon State)


We are going to cover these and other topics:

  • why should somebody go to grad school
  • an overall view of the application process
  • what can students do now to increase their chance of success
  • what are the qualities/abilities that admission committees are looking for
  • at what institutions to apply
  • how does a typical day in the life of a graduate student look like
  • funding during grad life (e.g., differences between TA and RA, duties of each job)
  • relationship advisor-student

Tentative Schedule:

Friday, Oct 24
8:30 am SPLASH Keynote: Bret Victor
10:30 am Break
10:30 am Attend SPLASH/OOPSLA programs
12:00 pm Lunch
1:00 pm Attend SPLASH/OOPSLA programs
3:00 pm
SPLASH/OOPSLA Icecream social event
6:00 pm
Inspirations Dinner (special event)

Saturday, Oct 25
8:30 am Breakfast
9:00 am Welcome
9:15 am Why graduate school? Lightning talks + panel
10:30 am Break
10:45 am Research talks: Programming Languages & Theory
Research talks: Software Engineering & Systems
12:00 pm Lunch
1:30 pm Publish or Perish / How to read academese
2:30 pm
Applying to graduate school
3:15 pm
3:30 pm
Graduate Life (the students' perspective)
4:30 pm


We are very grateful to ACM SIGPLAN for the generous funding which has made this event possible. A BIG Thank You ACM, on behalf of the next generation of computer scientists.

Student Benefits

Due to the generous funding from ACM, we are able to offer the following, free of charge, to the participating students:

  • 1-day registration for SPLASH'14/OOPSLA'14 for Friday (Oct 24), including all meals, access to all events during that day.
  • special dinner event on Friday, Oct 24th
  • transportation to/from your local university to SPLASH (this is coordinated by the champion at each participating university)
  • 1 night at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Portland (2 students/room)
  • access to all events scheduled for Saturday, including meals


Q. I am having troubles registering for the SPLASH'14 one-day event. I get told that cookies are not enabled on my browser. They are enabled, and I have tried ... (e.g., with four browsers on two devices).
A. Please contact Sharri (sharri.h@regmaster.com) who is the SPLASH registration manager. She will help you.

Q. I would like to attend, but my schedule is completely full of appointments that I cannot miss on Friday. Can I still attend?
A. We are sorry to miss you at the SPLASH'14 event, but we would still like to meet you at the Inspirations. You can still attend, but please let our local coordinator, Sruti (srinivas@onid.oregonstate.edu ) know about this. Also, if you are arriving late in Portland and will not attend the Inspirations dinner on Friday at 6pm, please let Sruti know too.

Q. Do I make my own hotel reservations?
A. Absolutely NO! We have negotiated with the hotel a special group rate, and we are handling all the hotel reservations ourselves. Once you registered in our system (based on the invitation you received from Prof Dig), we will have your information, and Sruti will book the hotel rooms for you. Do not book the hotel room yourself, because we will not be able to reimburse you this way.

Q. What about travel? How do I get at SPLASH'14 and Inspirations?
A. We want the students to travel with the cohort of students from their university, using vans/carpools. Each participating university has a local champion who is in charge of coordinating transportation: Professor Dan Grossman at UW, Professor Boyana Norris at U of Oregon, and Professor Carlos Jensen at OSU. Once we finalized the registration, they will communicate with you about the transportation, in order to ensure the most economical way. Also, you will have more fun traveling together with the cohort from your university.

Q. What is the dress code for students?
A. You should dress appropriately for Fall conditions in Portland (might get wet). Typically, people attending a conference dress business casual.

Q. Do we have to pay any hidden fees for attending this event?
A. This event is completely free for the participating students. All costs are generously covered by ACM. Just come with a thirst to learn about graduate school.