My name is Marilyn and I am a third year undergraduate student at Tufts University in Massachusetts, USA. I began doing functional programming research on Haskell optimizers over the summer and decided to attend ICFP at the end of the summer. This was my first academic conference experience and I was very lucky to attend as a student volunteer.
I attended the Programming Languages Mentor Workshop at the beginning of the week, and was very inspired by all the fascinating papers being presented as well as the encouraging advice many speakers offered to students beginning their research career. Furthermore, I found many topics throughout the weekend to be incredibly interesting as well. For example, two presentations, Speculate and QuickSpec, were presented one after another, offering ways of automatically conjecturing laws about Haskell functions. Given a Haskell function’s signature, these tools were able to come up with conditional equations about the function. FARM was also a cool event in which all talks were related to functional programming for applications in art. Type checking music apparently generates music that sounds pleasing to the human ear - who knew?
Overall, I had a great experience at ICFP and was able to not only learn a ton but also form long lasting connections with amazing researchers that inspire me and offer me advice. I would highly recommend all who are thinking of attending ICFP, even if you are only an undergraduate student like me!