Chronicles of 2016

Sept 2016: Attend the PLSE group retreat of U of Washington in Leavenworth just outside of Seattle. More than 70 faculty members, students, and industry researchers gathered. Really impressed by the group’s work on program synthesis, SMT solvers, and their applications on different scenarios.

Jan 2016: Attended the 1st CERES Summit from U of Chicago. Huawei is one of the founding partners of the CERES center of Unstoppable Computing.

Chronicles of 2015

Oct 2015: Attend SPLASH/OOPSLA’16 in Pittsburgh. Love the conference and had a lot of fun there (it was also a scenic fall foliage drive from Rochester to Pittsburgh). I gave an invited talk at SPLASH-I on “When CT meets IT: the Programming Challenges in the age of ICT Convergence“; and participated in the panel on “The Future of Programming Languages and Programmers“. Met w/ Dr Markus Voelter from ITEMIS  and got to know of a cool compiler frontend technology (sort of) called the language workbench (more on this topic in my blog).

Oct 2015: Visited the Computer Science Department of U of Chicago, gave a talk on

July 2015: Huawei 2nd Distributed Computing Summit was held in the scenic Lucerne, Switzerland. 8 out of 10 of our advisory board members were able to attend, we had a blast there!

Feb 2015: Organized the workshop & tutorial for PPoPP’15. Haichuan has presented our work on R optimizations at the High-performance Scripting Languages workshop. Calin Cascaval et al gave a great tutorial of the MARE runtime from Qualcomm.


Chronicles of 2014

2014 has been a year of re-defining myself. Moving from IBM research to Huawei US R&D is a major change in my career as well as re-adjusting my life around. The year started w/ a great deal of anticipation (of a fresh restart) and ended w/ (I am glad to say) a lot of excitement (of starting the new Programming Technologies Lab).

December, 2014: The Programming Technologies lab at Huawei was officially founded. This is a major expansion of our team from traditional compilers to all aspects of programming technologies such as language VMs, language designs, and programming tools. Now all stage is setup for an exciting 2015.

November, 2014: Participated in a panel discussion on patenting at the Grace Hopper Conference’14. This was my first time attending GHC. The conference is huge (8000+ attendees). Our panel went very well. I myself learned a lot from my fellow panelist as well, especially Inna, our patent lawyer at the panel. And Kaoutar, you are great!

August, 2014: Organized 1st Huawei Distributed Computing Summit at the scenic Monterey Bay, CA. 7 of our 9-member advisory members were able to attend together w/ technical experts from Huawei. We had a blast there, great talks, great venue, and great people! We joked that this was a “first-date” between the distributed computing lab and the outside experts, a lot more to follow.



August, 2014: Professor Peter Buhr (U of Waterloo) visited us at the lab and gave a talk on the evolution of language designs. Peter spent most of his career on language designs.  As a veteran of the field, he candidly observed that “language adoption requires a lot of luck” and that “most language concepts have been invented decades ago”.

June, 2014: Attended USENIX ATC/14 in Philadelphia. My first time to an USENIX conference, like the community a lot. Ian Stoica’s keynote was fantastic! Some of the key insights: “one way to build systems, be paranoid about simplicity”, “focus on novel usage scenarios”, “be the first to understand a problem”, “basic functionality first, performance optimization next”.

And it’s great to see Xiaosong again after so many years. And what a surprise to see Hubertus (my IBM boss) at the conference.

April, 2014: Prof Rafael Asenjo, Angeles Navarro ( U of Malaga, Spain) and Maria Garzaran (UIUC) visited the lab and gave a talk on performance-energy modeling on heterogeneous chips. Old friends from back at Illinois days, great to get reconnected again.


March, 2014:  Visited Huawei China, finally got to meet w/ my colleagues in Hangzhou, Shenzhen, and Beijing. They were so young and energetic, and eager to learn! And Hangzhou in March is so beautiful.

Feb 16, 2014: Co-organized the 1st Workshop on Programming Models for SIMD/Vector Processing (Feb 16, 2014, Orlando, FL, co-located w/ PPoPP’14).

Please also join our google+ community for the SIMD workshop. We want to build a community for SIMD researchers.

Jan 27, 2014: My first day at Huawei (Santa Clara lab). At the end of the first week, I am totally excited about my new role (challenging but w/ vast space to spread the wings), also impressed by the density of IT companies in the bay area (compared to Rochester :<).

Chronicles of 2013

2013 is the year of social media for me: first smartphone, first open-source project, first quora piece, first tweet, first blog, first WeChat, and first on-line community. Empowered, intrigued, and energized, 2013 is a year of transition to even bigger changes ahead.

Dec 5, 2013: Hosted Christian Wimmer from Oracle labs to give a talk on the Graal/Truffle VM for scripting languages. The Graal/Truffle framework, in my opinion, is one of the most exciting new work in JVM (hmm… is it really a JVM?) in recent years. Will write a blog about it.

Nov 19, 2013: attended the compiler workshops at CASCON (organized by IBM Canada lab). It’s great to be in a room full of compiler folks (many of whom I’ve spoken w/ but met in person for the first time). This blog on auto-simd was inspired by a panel discussion at the parallel computing workshop.

Nov 3, 2013: attended the SPLASH the DALI workshop on R and large-scale analytic. One of the best workshop experiences I ever had. Great to see Carl Bolz (PyPy, King’s College), Chandra Krinz (UCSB), Jan Vitek (Purdue), Christian Wimmer (Oracle), and Thomas Wuerthinger (Oracle), and Stephen Herhut (Intel) there. Check out my talk on DALI_R_Landscape.

Oct 3, 2013: gave a seminar at the Computer Science department, College of William & Mary on the evolution of my decade-long career as a compiler expert. This blog was inspired by part of this talk. Beautiful campus, great food and company, thanks to my wonderful host, Dr Xipeng Shen.

Oct, 2013: became the seminar co-ordinator for the Programming Language & Software Engineering (PL/SE) community of IBM research. My “secret” goal is to strengthen the PL/SE community using social media tools.

July, 2013: Took IBM’s one week-long MicroMBA program. I learned to read financial statements. But more importantly, through role-play (as the CEO of a mock company), I learned the hard way the difficulty of decision making, the importance and limitations of financial numbers, the power of incentives.

May 2013: Participated in my very first open source project, porting V8 to POWER (open-sourced here). This experience is blowing my mind away. Andrew, I learned so much from you.

Summer, 2013: We are very lucky to have Haichuan Wang (UIUC) for the summer working on the generic SIMD intrinsic library (open-sourced here). He’s amazing. And congratulations to Haichuan for winning the Watson Hackathon!

May 1, 2013: annual visit to UIUC to meet w/ David Padua and my wonderful student Haichuan Wang  on the R project, also met Luke Tierney (Iowa U). As usual, a wonderful trip to be back.


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