TITLE: An Undergraduate Research Project for Spring
AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford
DATE: January 11, 2017 2:22 PM
Coming into the semester, I didn't have any students doing their
undergraduate research under my supervision. That frees up some
time each week, which is nice, but leaves my semester a bit poorer.
Working with students one-on-one is one of the best parts of this
job, even more so in relief against administrative duties. Working
on these projects makes my weeks better, even when I don't have as
much time to devote to them as I'd like.
Yesterday, a student walked in with a project that makes my semester
a little busier -- and much more interesting. Last summer, he
implemented some ideas on extensible effects in Haskell and
has some ideas for ways to make the system more efficient.
This student knows a lot more about extensible effects and Haskell
than I do, so I have some work to do just to get ready to help.
I'll start with
Extensible Effects: An Alternative to Monad Transformers,
the paper by Oleg Kiselyov and his colleagues that introduced the
idea to the wider computing community. This paper builds on
work by Cartwright and Felleisen,
published over twenty years ago, which I'll probably look at, too.
The student has a couple of other things for me to read, which
will appear in his more formal proposal this week. I expect that
these papers will make my brain hurt, in the good way, and am
looking forward to diving in.
In the big picture, most undergrad projects in my department are
pretty minor as research goes. They are typically more D than R,
with students developing something that goes beyond what they
learn in any course and doing a little empirical analysis. The
extensible effects project is much more ambitious. It builds on
serious academic research. It works on a significant problem and
proposes something new. That makes the project much more exciting
for me as the supervisor.
I hope to report more later, as the semester goes on.