Student Research Competition

Winners of this Year!

1st place: Jeff Huang, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Lightweight Concurrency Crash Reproduction Without Logging Shared Memory Dependencies and Program States

2nd place: Leo Meyerovich,UC Berkeley
Synthesizing and Parallelizing Layout Languages

3rd place: Michael M. Vitousek, University of Colorado at Boulder
Gradual Typing with Efficient Object Casts

ACM and Microsoft Research are sponsoring the Student Research Competition (SRC) at the ACM SIGPLAN 2012 Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation (PLDI2012).

The SRC provides an opportunity for graduate and undergraduate students to attend PLDI 2012 and present their latest research in the area of programming language design and implementation. The goal is to give students a forum to discuss their ongoing research with experts in their field, and to help them sharpen their research and communication skills. 

The SRC consists of three rounds:

  • Extended abstract round. All students are encouraged to submit an extended abstract an outlining their research. 
  • Poster session. Based on the abstracts, a panel of judges will select the most promising entrants to participate in the poster session which will take place at PLDI. Students who make it to this round will be eligible for some travel support to attend the conference. In the poster session, students will have the opportunity to present their work to the judges, who will select three finalists in each category to advance to the next round.
  • PLDI presentation. The last round will consist of an oral presentation at PLDI to compete for the final award.


Winners selected from the presentation session will enjoy the following benefits:

  • The top three graduate winners will receive prizes of $500, $300, and $200, respectively. Likewise, the top three undergraduate winners will receive prizes of $500, $300, and $200. All six winners will receive award plaques and two-year complimentary ACM memberships, including subscriptions to ACM’s Digital Library.

  • The names and research abstracts of the winners will be posted on the SRC web site.

  • The winners will be invited to participate in the ACM SRC Grand Finals, an on-line round of competitions among the winners of individual conference-hosted SRCs.

  • The top three graduate Grand Finalists will receive an additional $500, $300, and $200. Likewise, the top three undergraduate Grand Finalists will receive an additional $500, $300, and $200. All six Grant Finalists will receive Grand Finalist plaques.

  • Grand Finalists and their advisors will be invited to the Annual ACM Awards Banquet for an all-expenses-paid trip, where they will be recognized for their accomplishments along with other prestigious ACM award winners, including the winner of the Turing Award (also known as the Nobel Prize of Computing).


   For the students

   For the work

  • Previously published work: Submissions should consist of original work (not yet accepted for publication). If the work is a continuation of previously published work, the submission should focus on the contribution over what has already been published. We encourage students to see this as an opportunity to get early feedback and exposure for the work they plan to submit to the next PLDI or POPL.

  • Collaborative work: Students are encouraged to submit work they have been conducting in collaboration with others, including advisors, internship mentors, or other students. However, submissions are individual, so they must focus on the contributions of the student.

Submission Details

Each submission should include the student author’s name, institutional affiliation, e-mail address, and postal address; research advisor’s name; ACM student member number; category (undergraduate or graduate); research title; and an extended abstract addressing the following:

  • Problem and Motivation: Clearly state the problem being addressed and explain the reasons for seeking a solution to this problem.
  • Background and Related Work: Describe the specialized (but pertinent) background necessary to appreciate the work. Include references to the literature where appropriate, and briefly explain where your work departs from that done by others.

  • Approach and Uniqueness: Describe your approach in attacking the problem and clearly state how your approach is novel.

  • Results and Contributions: Clearly show how the results of your work contribute to computer science and explain the significance of those results.

The abstract must describe the student’s individual research and must be authored solely by the student. If the work is collaborative with others and/or part of a larger group project, the abstract should make clear what the student’s role was and should focus on that portion of the work.
The extended abstract must not exceed 1000 words and must not be longer than 2 pages. Reference lists do not count towards these limits.

To submit an abstract, please register through the submission page and follow the instructions. The submission deadline is Wednesday March 14 2012 at 23:59 EST. Abstracts submitted after the deadline may be considered at the committee's discretion, but only after decisions have been made on all abstracts submitted before the deadline. If you have any problems, don't hesitate to contact the competition chair.

Important Dates

Deadline for submission:  Wednesday, March 14, 2012 by 23:59 EST
Notification of acceptance:  Friday, April 6, 2012 

Selection Committee


Microsoft Research acm logo

Further Information

For any questions regarding the PLDI 2012 SRC, please contact SRC Chair Armando Solar-Lezama.

Page design was originally developed for the PLDI 2010 SRC page by Ben Liblit. Icons courtesy of the Tango Desktop Project. Some text adapted from the SIGCSE 2011 SRC page by Ann Sobel and PLDI 2010 SRC page by Ben Liblit.