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As formal methods improve in expressiveness and power, they create new opportunities for non-expert adoption. In principle, formal tools are now powerful enough to enable developers to validate realistic systems artifacts without extensive formal training. However, realizing this potential for adoption requires attention to the technical and human side—which has received extraordinarily little attention from formal methods research.
This talk presents some of our efforts to address this paucity. We apply ideas from cognitive science, human-factors research, and education theory to improve the usability of formal methods. Along the way, we present misconceptions suffered by non-experts and show how technically appealing designs—which experts may value—may fail to help regular users.
This session will build on previous work. There’s a paper that introduces the concept and then a conference video that expands on it. But that covers only about 30% of what is on the cards for this session. So, even if you’ve read the paper and watched the video, the professor has new insights and research to share with you.
Shriram is the Vice President for Programming Languages at Brown University in Providence, RI, USA. He’s not, really, but that’s what it says on his business card. At heart, he’s a person of ill repute: a Schemer, Racketeer, and Pyreteer. He believes tropical fruits are superior to all other kinds. He is terrified of success because he may be forced to buy a suit. He is known to interrogate his audiences to ensure they’re paying attention. So, be alert. You can read the email later.
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Google Maps: https://maps.app.goo.gl/q3hoLZNBu2CL5WSh7 (Rest assured; just because Microsoft is kind enough to host us, we’re not going to use Bing Maps for the address)
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