Professor Michael Hicks Elected SIGPLAN Chair

By Marcus Fedarko
Student Staff Writer

The 2015 SIGPLAN election results were released recently. With their announcement came the news that Professor Michael Hicks of the University of Maryland would serve as the chair of SIGPLAN from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2018.

SIGPLAN, a special interest group (SIG) of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), focuses on programming languages: examining the theoretical and practical sides of the very broad field. It “...explores programming language concepts and tools focusing on design, implementation, and efficient use,” according to the ACM's description. The group sponsors a number of major Programming Language conferences, including perhaps most notably the Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation (PLDI).

Professor Hicks first came to the University of Maryland as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science and UMIACS in July 2002. He received a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in August 2001 and worked as a post-doctoral research associate at Cornell University for a year afterward before starting at Maryland. His doctoral thesis on Dynamic Software Updating, coincidentally, won the 2002 SIGPLAN Doctoral Dissertation Award.

In the years since then, Professor Hicks has taken a sabbatical in Cambridge, England at Microsoft Research and later at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory; worked as a Visiting Professor at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, France; continues to serve as an Adjunct at the Institute for Defense Analyses Center for Computing Sciences in Bowie, Maryland; and directed the Maryland Cybersecurity Center from 2011 to 2013. He currently directs PLUM, the Programming Languages research lab at UMD.

“I am honored to have been elected by my peers to lead SIGPLAN,” writes Professor Hicks. “I look forward to working with the many fantastic and dedicated members of the group.”

The Department congratulates Professor Hicks on this exciting accomplishment and wishes him luck as Chair of SIGPLAN!

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