Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 8:30am to 9:40am
KEC 1007

Speaker Information

Eric Walkingshaw
PhD Candidate
School of EECS
Oregon State University


Effectively managing variation is crucial to many subfields of software engineering, such as software product lines, feature-oriented programming, and software configuration management.  In this talk, I will present the choice calculus, a formal language that supports research on representing, transforming, and analyzing variational software. Using the choice calculus, I will present an extension of the Damas-Milner type inference algorithm to infer variational types for variational programs.

My research on the choice calculus is part of a larger body of work developing language-based solutions to a wide variety of problems. I will present two domain-specific visual languages that illustrate other aspects of my research vision and approach. The languages we all use shape the way we view, reason about, and ultimately solve problems. Good languages not only help us implement solutions, they reveal patterns and help us tease apart complexity, giving us deeper insight into the problems we care about, and even a richer understanding of the domain itself.

Speaker Bio

Eric Walkingshaw is a Ph.D. candidate and instructor at Oregon State University. He earned a B.S. in Computer Science and a B.A. in English from the University of Washington in 2006. Before coming to Oregon State, he worked for two years in bioinformatics on languages for experiment design and on helping biologists cope with big data. He is interested in all aspects of language design and implementation, with a focus on domain-specific languages, functional programming, and visual languages. He has designed languages for experimental game theory, variational programming, studying causation, and explaining probabilistic reasoning. He is also interested in gamification and linguistics.