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Washington Advanced Systems for Programming


This page is no longer actively updated as of March 2012. Please see the web page for the PLSE group for more recent information on programming-languages research at the University of Washington. We will keep this older WASP page for archival purposes and to avoid creating dead links.

The WASP Group in the Department of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington conducts groundbreaking research in the design, implementation, and theory of programming languages, compilers, programming tools, and programming environments.


Publications (a hopefully-complete list in reverse chronological order as of 2011)

Projects and Collaborators

Many of our projects and members span multiple research groups. The boundaries are entirely fuzzy by design. For consistency, we host each current project on only one web page, so in addition to the projects below, also see (warning: links may become dead over time):

Software Engineering
(see also here)
All the current Sampa projects relate to software quality and include WASP members in the collaboration
Primarily a databases project where we collaborate on the Parallax tools

UW graduate students are encouraged to explore research areas that interest them; having "close research neighbors" creates many opportunities.

This list includes important projects pursued by us:

An extension to Java allowing the high-level architecture of an application to be expressed directly in the code, and checked automatically by the typechecker.
Language design, implementation, and semantics for transactions in modern programming languages
A purely OO language incorporating multiple dispatching, a classless object model, predicate objects, and a flexible static type system
Module systems for systems code to encapsulate architectural assumptions
A safe C-level programming language with user-controlled checking and performance
Diamond, F(EML)
An extension to EML supporting flexible parameterized modules
A next-generation object-oriented language combining modularity with extensibility
DyC and Calpa
Dynamic compilation for C
An extension to ML that generalizes ML's datatype and function constructs to support OO-style extensibility while retaining modular typechecking and compilation
A language for distributed messaging using semistructured data
Lock Capabilities
Flexible type system for preventing deadlock in multi-threaded code
Dealing with relaxed memory-consistency models for high-level programming languages and modern software development
MultiJava and RMJ
Java extensions supporting multiple dispatching and open classes while retaining modular typechecking and compilation
Object Ownership
Improved encapsulation for object-oriented languages
Rhodium and Cobalt
A framework for provably correct compiler optimizations
Automatically constructing staged compilers
An approach to searching for good compiler error-messages in advanced languages
Transactional events for a mostly-functional language
A multilingual optimizing compiler for OO languages
Better support for robust and secure client-side web applications (JavaScript), in collaboration with the RiSE group at Microsoft Research
A multilingual optimizing compiler supporting OO languages, staged compilation, and provably correct optimizations


Group meeting
The WASP Group meeting, an informal venue for work-in-progress, meets weekly throughout the academic year.
A graduate seminar / reading-group on programming languages, has a different theme each quarter
A graduate "quals" course on programming-language concepts, offered annually
A graduate "quals" course on program analysis and compilers, offered roughly every other year
An undergraduate compilers course, offered 2-3 quarters each year
An undergraduate programming-languages course, offered 3 quarters each year

We also have advanced special-topics courses on a less regular schedule. Here are some past offerings:


We are proud and honored to have many great and successful former group members. Here is a list of our Ph.D. graduates:

Additional Information for Group Members