Equity and Inclusion in International Conference Attendance—What can conference organizers do?

There is no shortage of anecdotes on conference registrants, presenters, volunteers, and organizers being unable to participate due to visa issues [1][2][3][4][5]. Further, it has often been pointed out that simply the process of applying for a visa to attend conferences can be disconcerting, logistically challenging, and dehumanizing.

Naturally, visa issues disproportionately affect members of developing nations and underrepresented communities. Visa refusals are also more common for first-time foreign travelers, which means that junior students are likely the most affected group in the population. (I wish I had more comprehensive statistics, but more on that later.)

As academics, we cannot easily make sweeping changes in international relations and policy. But perhaps there are steps that we can take in the way we organize and conduct conferences to mitigate biases against national origin and citizenship.

Written on November 9, 2019
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Artifact Evaluation: Tips for Authors

A number of software research conferences such as ICSE, ISSTA, PLDI, POPL, OOPSLA, SOSP, and USENIX Security incorporate an artifact evaluation (AE) process: authors of (conditionally) accepted papers can optionally submit their tools, code, data, and scripts for independent validation of the claims in their paper by an artifact evaluation committee (AEC). Papers with accepted artifacts get stamped with one or more badges. Personally, I’m a big fan of the AE process, as it promotes reproducible and reusable research.

But what makes a good artifact? Although there exist many great resources for writing good papers, as well as for writing good rebuttals, I haven’t found anything similar for submitting artifacts for evaluation. This is my attempt at filling the gap.

Written on August 7, 2019
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Fuzz puzzles

Are you ready to test your skills as a human fuzzer? Here’s a collection of puzzles where the objective is to find an input that leads to the execution of what appears to be dead code.

Written on November 18, 2017
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