International Summer School on Metaprogramming 2016

Punting on the Cam

This summer we hosted the first International Summer School for Metaprogramming at Robinson College, Cambridge. The event was a huge success and it would not have been possible without the generous financial support from our industrial parters: Facebook, Microsoft, Oracle and OCaml Labs. We were fortunate to have an overwhelming number of people register interest, and we welcomed students and speakers from 12 different countries, all with varying expertise and experience in the metaprogramming field. The goal of the school was to present recent research and development in the relatively modest field and we hoped to encourage discussion and collaboration amongst a diverse group of users and researchers.

Robinson College provided the venue and accommodation, and the purpose-built, well-provisioned Crausaz Wordsworth conference building ensured that the group was well catered for. Students and speakers had access to the beautiful college gardens to explore during their residential stay, and the days were packed with presentations, demos and talks, with excited conversation continuing into the evenings.

In order to balance the high-focus schedule with some downtime, we punted along the meadows towards Grantchester, in hunt of the obligatory cream tea. Almost everyone had a “punt” and a jolly mix of crashing, 3-point turns, laughter, debates about the most efficient method of propulsion method and successful bridge jumping made for a fun afternoon in the sun. Darwin College hosted us for our evening banquet, where we were lucky to have the entire dining room to ourselves, a chance for lovely walks across the islands, and a local caricaturist on hand to draw the guests.

Zooming through Grantchester Meadows
Some bovine roadblocks to navigate past
The group makes it to the pub at the end of the river

The school was a fantastic opportunity to gather specialists and newcomers within this research field, and initial feedback has been very positive, especially with regards to the relaxed and collaborative atmosphere. We hope this will help to grow the metaprogramming community, and we encourage others to host and organise similar events in the future.


  1. A generic deriving mechanism of Haskell
  2. A formal comparison of approaches to datatype-generic programming
  1. Mietek Bak: Towards intentional analysis of syntax
  2. Kwanghoon Choi: SMLOG: an embedding of logic language in Standard ML
  3. Artúr Poór: Parallelization of Scala programs by refactoring
  4. Aggelos Biboudis: Stream Fusion to perfection
  5. Martin Lester: Static analysis for JavaScript-Style eval
  6. L. Thomas van Binsbergen: Reusable components for formal and executable language specification (from the PLanCompS project)
  7. Michael Ballantyne: Modelling macro hygiene with scope graphs
  8. Paul Laforgue: Codata types and copattern matching

You can see the entire schedule, lecture materials and other information on the Summer School site.

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Author | Gemma Gordon

Gemma is the Operations Director for the OCaml Labs group in the Cambridge Computer Laboratory, and covers day-to-day management, investigates funding opportunities and organises events.