Tuesday, April 8, 2014


This was not my first trip to ASPLOS, but it did have a few other firsts I noticed:

I believe this was the first ASPLOS with an "approximate computing" session, a topic that has a soft stop in my research heart. There were two talks—from James Bornholt of ANU/MSR and Mehrzad Samadi of Michigan—both which more than justified their placement in the first session slot. Here's hoping that this session topic stays at ASPLOS for the next few years.

This was also the first time I can remember that the WACI session actually made anyone laugh. There was a healthy mix of ridiculousness and legitimately provocative ideas. Notably, Josh Smith's keynote was  shockingly ambitious while remaining  legitimately focused. In recent years, the session has listed a little too much toward the serious side—I hope the lightheartedness this year carries forward to future WACIs.

I also think this was the first ASPLOS with a lightning session and poster for every paper (something I first saw when Onur Mutlu chaired ASPLOS 2012). The lightning session is an incredibly valuable addition to the conference. It's impossible to catch every talk (even at a single-tracked conference, I contend!). So having one session where everyone sees every paper once has benefit disproportionate to the time taken. The poster session was perhaps less valuable since there was plenty of unstructured time already to follow up with authors. But I hope the lightning session is here to stay.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


I really enjoyed attending ASPLOS'14. I felt like the organization of the conference and the schedule was great. I had a lot of fun in the conference and met and talked to a lot of people. There were a few important highlights for me.

First, although I was not a big fan of the idea of the lightning session before the conference, I completely changed my mind afterwards. It was a quick and fun introduction to all the papers and I had made my decision on which sessions I wanted to attend by the end of it.

Second, I truly appreciated all the efforts of the PC, and especially the PC chair, in the review process. It was obvious from the PC chair's report that they had done their best to be fair to all the papers that were submitted. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Great chat with Yunji Chen at ASPLOS

It was the break before the last session, I grabbed my suitcase and was heading to the last session. Then I saw Yunji Chen, who also did his undergraduate at USTC. Since he was on one of the best papers, I approached him and said "hi and congrats" to him. The chat lasted way longer than I expected, and I learnt way more than I expected.

He views doing research just like playing video games. It was not until Yunji got his Ph.D. then he realized that he probably should spend less time on video games and more on research. He dares to dream big, and the ASPLOS awarded paper stems from the dream of building real intelligence. He is lighten up on research, and he is also helping his students, many of them also played lots of video games as undergraduate, be lighten up.

After one and half hours, I had to interrupt to checkout and we wrapped up. The good thing is that I have already been lighten up by then, and begin to dream about having my papers in ASPLOS 2018 which hopefully will go ShanYa as proposed by Yunji.

Monday, March 24, 2014

My Exciting Adventures in Utah

ASPLOS 2014 was a wonderful experience for a myriad of reasons! I had the opportunity to meet with a diverse set of people (both technically and culturally), curl the stone, discuss exciting research topics, meet old friends, observe superb presentations, and have my ideas hacked and improved. I find that each of these made the conference an outstanding experience.

The presentations were well done, insightful, and thought provoking. With authors of the various presentations, I discussed several interesting ideas on topics ranging from randomly throwing away instructions for performance, telling the operating system to keep its hand off my app memory, and even build my iOS app once and run on Android. These are just a few of the memorable discussions I was privy to while attending ASPLOS.

A last aspect of my ASPLOS adventure to comment on was the opportunity to mingle my ideas with a fresh crop of interesting research directions and perspectives. This exposure led to an exuberating set of new ideas, which sadly I will have to wait upon to explore because there are so many fun things to look into. It is truly a great time to be a systems+compilers security researcher.

I would like to say thank you to the ASPLOS chairs, organizational committees, reviewers, and (I imagine) numerous volunteers who made this an exciting and memorable time; Also, I would like to send out a great thanks to all the other participants at ASPLOS who shared in spirited debates and discussions.
This was my first time attending ASPLOS. Overall it was a great experience. The organization, the quality of the presentations, the food and the view of SLC were all great. Sadly I missed the excursion :(

I was excited by the broadness of the topics and enjoyed the chance to speak with researcher from both industry and academia. As to the sessions, I think the lightning session was a great idea, it really helped me decide which session to go. The debate panel session was also inspiring and insightful. Among the main sessions, I enjoyed most the heterogeneous computing session the virtualization session. And every other sessions have one or more interesting papers.

I'm looking forward to attending ASPLOS'15 in Istanbul!

Thursday, March 20, 2014


This is the first time I attend the ASPLOS conference and I had a great time. One of my favorite parts of the conference was the poster session because it allowed me to interact with other attendees that were interested in our work. Since I am a second author on the paper that was accepted at ASPLOS, it gave me the opportunity to talk about my research.

I thought the conference was very well organized and the location was beautiful. The venue was a really great space to chat with others over the different papers that were presented. I also enjoyed curling since it was my first time and the instructors were great!

I am very thankful for the travel grant that allowed me to attend and I also want to thank the ASPLOS committee for organizing such a great conference.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

My ASPLOS'14 -- totally awesome

This is my 3rd time ASPLOS -- previously London and Houston.

The view of SLC is breath-taking (see the following photo taken from my room). The organization is also perfect, in particular the Olympics Oval part. Nice souvenir -- a jacket.

The 90-sec lightning session is new this year. This indeed adds some extra workload to presenters -- but it really gave an excellent overview of the program. So please consider keep it, future program chairs! I had to miss multiple great talks due to the dual-track sessions, which might be inevitable. Probably the sessions are better to be organized according to fields (arch, pl, os, ...) rather than topics.