A Personal Invitation to ASPLOS 2021


This year ASPLOS is just $15 for students and we are hoping many more people will have a chance to experience ASPLOS for the first time — it has been designed to be as easy as possible to hop in, get what you need, meet some amazing people, all without consuming your whole day. We have spread content across 2 full weeks Mon-Fri with shorter blocks of “together” time 7am-9am and 4pm-6pm (Pacific Time) but you can also participate asynchronously to watch some of the videos and chat with authors.  There is a lot of stuff for people interested in OS, PL, and Architecture to see, but please get in there before it is gone.  

$15 per student buys you all of the tutorials, all of the workshops, all of the ASPLOS technical program, keynotes, live interviews, an industry panel, a virtual excursion, plus even partner conference VEE.  Full price is just $40. You can register today on our Registration Page.

Some of the stuff going on this year includes:

ASPLOS Tutorials

There is no better way to bootstrap your understanding of an area than being taught directly by some of the world’s foremost experts.  These ASPLOS tutorials (sorted by the date they will run) cover so many different important aspects of system design today: 

  • “ILLIXR: Illinois Extended Reality Testbed” (Monday, April 12 | 11am-3pm PT)
  • “ESP: the Open-Source Research Platform for Agile SoC Design and Programming” (Monday, April 12 | 8am-11am PT)
  • “Dynamic Data-Race Prediction : Fundamentals, Theory and Practice” (Wednesday April 14 | 11am-3pm PT)
  • “The Tutorial on BenchCouncil AIBench Scenario, Training, Inference, and Micro Benchmarks across Datacenter, HPC, IoT and Edge” (Wednesday, April 14 | 7am-11am, 4pm-8pm PT)
  • “ML Performance: Benchmarking Deep Learning Systems” (Wednesday, April 14 | 7am-3pm PT)
  • “Securing Processor Architectures” (Thursday, April 15 | 11am-3pm PT)
  • “SCALE-Sim: Systolic CNN accelerator simulator” (Friday, April 16 | 7am-11am PT)
  • “High-Performance Distributed Learning: A Beginner’s Guide” (Friday, April 16 | 7am-11am PT)

ASPLOS Workshops

In addition to the main technical program, workshops are a great way to hear what people are working on, connect with a community around a specific problem, and learn from research leaders in a more intimate format.   These ASPLOS workshops (sorted by the date they will run) will provide all of that and more:

  • “YArch 2021: The third Young Architect Workshop” (Tuesday, April 13 | 7am-3pm PT)
  • “NOPE: a workshop that discusses open, honest port-mortems of research projects which ran into unexpected limitations and resulted in lessons learned” (Thursday, April 15 | 7am-11am PT)
  • “LATTE: Languages, Tools, and Techniques for Accelerator Design” (Thursday, April 15 | 7am-3pm PT)
  • “WORDS 2021: The 2nd Workshop on Resource Disaggregation and Serverless computing” (Thursday, April 15 | 7am-3pm PT)
  • “Workshop on Systems and Architectures for Robust Software 2.0” (Friday, April 16 | 9am-3pm PT)

Keynote: Chris Lattner 

The Golden Age of Compiler Design in an Era of HW/SW Co-design

Chris Lattner cofounded the LLVM Compiler infrastructure project, the Clang compiler, the Swift programming language, the MLIR compiler infrastructure, the CIRCT project, and has contributed to many other commercial and open source projects at Apple and Google. He now leads the Engineering and Product teams at SiFive, which is a leading vendor of RISC-V processors and other IP.  Read more

Keynote: Dongmei Zhang

From Software Analytics to Cloud Intelligence – Reflection and Path Forward

Dr. Dongmei Zhang is a Distinguished Scientist in Microsoft. She is also the Assistant Managing Director of Microsoft Research Asia (MSRA), leading the research areas of data intelligence, knowledge computing, information visualization, and software engineering. Dr. Zhang founded the Software Analytics Group in MSRA in 2009. Read more

Keynote: Nuria Oliver

Data Science to fight against COVID-19

Nuria Oliver is a computer scientist with over 25 years of research experience in Artificial Intelligence, Human Computer Interaction and Mobile Computing at MIT (1995-2000), Microsoft Research (2000-2007), and as the first female Scientific Director at Telefonica R&D (2007-2016), the first Chief Data Scientist at DataPop Alliance (2015-present) and the first Director of Research in Data Science at Vodafone (2017-2019). Since March 2020, she was named Commissioner for the President of the Valencian Region on AI Strategy and Data Science to fight COVID-19. Read more

An Interview with Timothy Pinkston

Hosted by: Russ Joseph

Timothy M. Pinkston is holder of the George Pfleger Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering, former holder of the Louise L. Dunn Endowed Professorship in Engineering, and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Southern California (USC). He also is the Vice Dean for Faculty Affairs in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.  With over a hundred peer-reviewed technical publications, he has made key research contributions to deadlock-free adaptive routing, router microarchitecture and interconnection networks (both distributed and on-chip networks) that achieve high-performance and energy-efficient data movement in multicore and multiprocessor computer systems–from embedded processors to compute servers to large-scale datacenters. Dr. Pinkston is a AAAS Fellow, ACM Fellow, and IEEE Fellow and has received numerous prominent national awards, including the NSF Minority Research Initiation Award and NSF CAREER Award, and is the proud recipient of a Distinguished Alumnus Award for Academic Excellence from The Ohio State University’s College of Engineering. Read More

An Interview with Kathryn McKinley

Hosted by: Steve Blackburn

Kathryn S. McKinley, Principle Research Scientist at Google, will give a brief introduction and then take audience questions, moderated by ANU Professor Steve Blackburn, her collaborator for over 20 years.  She welcomes technical questions on the future and past of cloud, parallel computing, benchmarking, performance analysis, garbage collection, and how to build an inclusive welcoming community.  Kathryn S McKinley is a Principal Research Scientist at Google and CRA Board member. She was previously a Principal Researcher at Microsoft and held an Endowed Professorship at The University of Texas at Austin.  She and her collaborators have produced several widely used technologies: the DaCapo Java Benchmarks (30,000+ downloads), the Hoard memory manager, the MMTk memory management toolkit, Jikes RVM, and the Immix garbage collector. She is an IEEE Fellow and ACM Fellow and her awards include the ACM SIGPLAN Programming Languages Software Award; ACM SIGPLAN Distinguished Service Award; and numerous test-of-time paper and best paper awards.  She has served as program chair for ASPLOS, PACT, PLDI, ISMM, and CGO, is a former Darpa ISAT and CRA-WP co-chair and Board member, and is a founding co-chair of SIGPLAN CARES and SIGARCH/SIGMICRO CARES. Read more

Panel: Industrial research in 2021

Hosted by: Ricardo Bianchini

Industrial research is often a bit of a mystery to academics, so many questions come up.  For example, how closely do industrial researchers work with product groups?  How does this interaction happen and what are its typical outcomes?  How much research are product groups themselves doing today?  How can academics collaborate with industrial researchers?  This panel will discuss the state of industrial research in 2021 and address these and other questions from the audience.  Ultimately, we will attempt to provide a clear picture of the different flavors of industrial research, the various interactions with product groups, and provide examples of collaborations between industrial and academic researchers.  Read more

Ask a Program Chair

Hosted by: Emery Berger and Christos Kozyrakis

Publishing in a conference such as ASPLOS can be an amazing opportunity, and literally hundreds of people have donated countless hours of their time to help bring you some of the most important computing advances in the world.  Whether you publish in SIGARCH, SIGOPS, and/or SIGPLAN venues often, or this is the very first conference you have attended, this session is an opportunity to speak directly with the 2021 ASPLOS Program Chairs.  While the Program Chairs do not make any decisions about individual papers, they help steer the process of decision making and this is a great chance to ask about how it works and how we can do it better in the future.  Read more

Virtual Excursions to ASPLOS Castle

Hosted by: Computer Architecture Students Association

Please join us for a chance to socialize with other ASPLOS attendees in a dynamic virtual environment purposefully and lovingly designed just for ASPLOS 2021.  Whether you are looking to catch up with old friends, grow your professional network, learn more about specific research thing, or just play some games and have a little fun, this excursion has something to offer.  While this pandemic has had myriad impacts, one of them is that many of our students have been robbed of opportunities to get to know new people and build their connections through informal interactions.  The Computer Architecture Student Association has spent time outfitting this space in a way that we hope invites such informal interaction and you can know you are helping our outstanding student community by simply participating!  Read more


CARES will be on hand through the whole conference at ASPLOS is a great chance to get to know the people behind CARES and it’s critical service to our community.  The role of CARES is to serve as a resource comprising of well-known and respected people in the research community who are approachable and willing to listen to and help people who experience or witness discrimination, harassment or other ethical policy violation, either at our events or related to ACM publications; the committee members can be a sounding board and can provide advice.  Read more

Q&A with the Technical Program Authors

Last, and certainly not least, is an amazing technical program of 75 papers covering the full intersection of Architecture, PL, OS, and beyond.  The main technical program has groups of 3 papers each of which will have a 5-min quick version of the talk so you can get a high level overview quickly.  These 5-min talks will be followed by a live hosted 15-min Q&A Panel with authors and a member of the Program Committee where the audience is invited to ask questions and to even hang around afterwards to chat informally with the authors.  You can also post questions ahead of time and read what others are saying about different paper topics.  Longer format talks will be available in the system for deeper dives into the material as well. 

A Final Thought

Whether you have just 30 minutes to spare to get some overview of the area, have hours and hours to dedicate to improve your understanding of all things Architecture/PL/OS, or just want a chance to connect with people in the field (both new and old) ASPLOS has a way for you to engage.  Please register at least 24-hours before a session you want to attend, but don’t be shy — come on in!