Sarah Chasins (second from left) won first place in the Grand Finals of the Student Research Competition of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM). She was awarded the prize at the ACM Awards Banquet in San Francisco on June 16 of 2012.
Sarah was awarded first place for her work on efficiently maintaining program state in the Plaid programming language. Plaid is a language with explicit support for expressing state and state change. Maintaining and expressing state requires representing a set of stable object members for all runtime objects, and requires changes to alter these members at runtime. Sarah developed a novel representation of object state, which enables fast runtime state member access. Her representation facilitates member addition and removal, while keeping method calls and field reads fast, resulting in improvements to overall application runtime performance. As part of her work, Sarah wrote a code generator for Plaid that implements this new functionality. Here is a more detailed description of her work
Sarah conducted her research with Professor Jonathan Aldrich at Carnegie Mellon University during the summer of 2011. They continue to collaborate on this project. In addition, Sarah used this work as the basis of her 2012 CS honors thesis. Sarah entered the ACM Student Research Grand Finals after winning first place in the ACM Undergraduate Student Research Competition at the SPLASH Conference (Systems, Programming, Languages and Applications: Software for Humanity) held in Portland in fall 2011.