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POPL 2021
Sun 17 - Fri 22 January 2021 Online

POPL 2021 was set to be in Copenhagen, Denmark. Instead, it’s on Clowdr:

Having trouble getting on Clowdr? DM @poplconf on Twitter or email popl2021team@gmail.com.

Watch POPL 2021 videos on Clowdr now!

Watch Clowdr tutorial videos on YouTube!

POPL 2021 was carefully designed to be “semi-synchronous.” We had two organizing goals: (1) to support maximal asynchrony for the research papers tracks of the conference, and (2) to ensure maximal confluence for the social parts.

TL;DR: What do I do?

The conference begins no later than January 11th; starting that day:

  • Sample the 5-minute talks and watch the 30-minute videos of the papers you like.

January 16–19:

  • Log in to Clowdr, look around, and say hi!
  • Join a paper’s channel on Clowdr to connect with the authors, by posting questions, comments, …
  • Meet people with the same interests this way, and arrange to have a deep discussion asynchronously (via chat) or synchronously by video chatting spontaneously or in a pre-arranged manner. Anytime.
  • To socialize, see who’s online where. Pop over and say hello! See what social events are scheduled by others, or schedule your own , at the time you choose, with a group you choose.
  • Attend co-located events like workshops, and tutorials.
  • Watch Student Research Competition videos and chat with students about their research.

January 20–22:

  • Continue with the asynchronous interactions as described above. More and more participants should be around at this time.
  • If you are available at the time then go to the live track of a session (two fifty-minute, two-track sessions each day). In each of the 10 min slots, view a pre-recorded five-minute video which is followed by 5-minutes of Q&A. Sit in for the whole session, or, if you want to stay in the Q&A of a paper, leave the parallel session and join the extended, non-broadcast part of a Q&A (of indefinite length). You can always watch the recording of the session afterwards.
  • Enjoy the invited talks live or watch the recordings afterwards.
  • Join a (statically or dynamically organized) social gathering that suits your schedule, or organize your own.

How is POPL 2021 organized?

POPL’s talks will be publicly available no later than January 11th. From January 16th, users on Clowdr can access each paper’s always-on, asynchronous text chat channel, which can be turned into a video room on demand. People can choose to tune in at any time and can connect with other people who are online at the same time, or can dynamically schedule a discussion in a video room.

Everyone is on equal footing: Asia and all of Australia and Oceania can watch these talks in their respective time zones, just as the Americas and Europe and Africa can watch it in theirs, and everyone can contribute to the same chat. This design is for the sake of inclusiveness, letting people participate in POPL on their own schedule—people with young families or caring for the elderly, young researchers without access to their labs, and many scheduling constraints (including, of course, the global POPL community being from many different time zones).

In designing the social component of the conference, we wanted to maximize the chances of meeting and interaction. We have already scheduled a single, focused band of social events surrounding live events (such as invited talks). Since POPL 2021 was going to be in Copenhagen, we opted to use Central European Time (UTC+1), Copenhagen’s timezone; this also happens to be a workable timeband for participants from most of the Americas and from eastern parts of Europe.

Similar social components are in the works for East Asia and Oceania. Stay tuned for news about this.

Clowdr also allows for organic self-organization, spontaneous or otherwise. We encourage you to run and attend “watch parties” and discussions at times convenient for you… Clowdr will open no later than January 16th and will be open 24/7!

How does the research paper track work?

The research paper track of POPL 2021 starts around January 11th when the talks for all research papers will be released online. As a participant, you are encouraged to start viewing these talks on your own schedule right away. Each paper has a dedicated channel on Clowdr, which will come online no later than January 16th. Contribute questions/comments as you watch, and the authors and other interested participants will engage with you when they are online.

Unsure about your interest in a paper? Watch the quick 5-minute version first and then decide to commit to watch the 30-minute video.

By stretching the research paper track over an extended period of time, we hope for a deeper engagement and more thoughtful discussions compared to the traditional 2-3 quick questions at the end of a live talk. People will have the time to think, check out relevant references, or invite other interested people to join an ongoing discussion. This creates the opportunity for all authors to be involved in the Q&A and ongoing discussions, in contrast to a single presenter.

What about the statically scheduled component?

The statically scheduled part of POPL 2021 will take place from Wednesday, January 20th through Friday, January 22nd. Co-located events will start on Sunday, January 17th, in a narrow time band: 15:15 through 20:00 in Copenhagen’s timezone, Central European Time (CET), which is GMT+1.. Co-located events will also use this time band (from 15:30 to 20:00, to be precise).

The statically scheduled component focuses on social events. Each day of the conference, you can attend dedicated social times, and plenary sessions (invited talks, awards, etc.). There are “lightning”-style parallel sessions (two tracks at a time) as a sampler/refresher of the content of the technical program (which will have been out for nearly ten days by then!). The plenary and parallel sessions will be broadcast (i.e., a livestream). Recordings of plenary and parallel sessions will be made available later.

The slot for each talk will involve a playback of a 5-minute pre-recorded “lightning talk” video and a 5-minute Q&A. Deep questions and lengthy discussions will have already taken place in Clowdr channels, and the live questions are either from someone who has missed the paper earlier or is an interested outsider who hasn’t engaged with the paper channel asynchronously before.

How do I socialize with people?

We have scheduled both structured and unstructured social times, when you will be invited to join particular rooms for topical or random interactions. Similar slots are being worked out for East Asia and Oceania. Stay tuned for news about this.

Ideally, people will socialize in Clowdr rooms at the times that suit them. You are encouraged to use these rooms at any time! You can also create your own rooms and invite other attendees to join you.

Help! Something is not working!

If you’re having trouble or have questions about how things work, head on over to the “Information Desk” where one of our student volunteers will help you out. Also, please check out our FAQ.