Friday, August 10, 2012

"Verifying lambda-calculus abstract machines in Trellys" sounded like Greek to undergraduate researcher Angello Astorga at the start of his summer undergraduate research work with Prof. Aaron Stump. But by the end of the summer, it might have sounded more like Spanish -- Angello's first language. Angello, a native of Peru and currently starting his junior year at Ohio State, worked this summer in The University of Iowa  Computer Science department as an undergraduate researcher, through the Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP). The SROP is a long-running program helping students from underrepresented groups learn more about research and doctoral study, in all different fields. Combining in-depth research experiences in labs and research groups across campus, as well as intensive mentoring and professional preparation activities, the SROP provides a focused opportunity for students who might not otherwise have the chance to explore the possibility of a research career. In his project with Prof. Stump, Angello developed computer-checked mathematical proofs showing that an optimized interpreter for lambda calculus (a minimalistic programming language) called the CK machine indeed correctly implements the lambda-calculus semantics. "My summer experience was eye opening, rewarding and satisfying," says Angello. We wish Angello all the best for his continued studies at Ohio State, and future career plans.