PhD student wins 2nd prize at London Hopper Colloquium

Jo Sharrad

PhD student, Joanna Sharrad, recently won 2nd place in the Research Spotlight Competition at the British Computing Society’s London Hopper Colloquium, and was presented with a certificate and £100.

The Research Spotlight competition focuses on women research masters students and PhD students, providing them with a friendly forum for communicating the essence of their work via short presentations to other postgraduate students and postdoc’s.

Joanna entered a 300 word abstract entitled ‘Type Errors, Delta Debugging, and the Blackbox Compiler’  and was chosen as one of 14 finalists who presented their research in a three and a half minute presentation.

Her presentation looked at how, when using statically typed functional programming languages, novice and expert programmers have to debug type errors. To add to this burden compilers often report the location of a type error inaccurately. Joanna’s research is about creating a new method for locating these type errors by applying the Isolating Delta Debugging algorithm coupled with a blackbox compiler to work directly on Haskell source code. Currently, she has a method that finds 77% of type errors compared to the compiler that only finds 50%. The next stage is to improve the algorithm so it finds even more type error locations.

Joanna commented ‘Overall, the entire day was fantastic and I would recommend going, you get to meet lots of people and listen to some brilliant research being produced by amazing women.’