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PLDI 2021
Sun 20 - Sat 26 June 2021 Virtual Conference

The Programming Language Mentoring Workshop is designed to broaden the exposure of late-stage undergraduate students and early-stage graduate students to research and career opportunities in programming languages. The workshop program will include technical sessions that cover both the history and current practice of core subfields within programming languages, mentoring sessions that cover effective habits for navigating the research landscape, and social sessions that create opportunities for students to interact with researchers in the field. Applications from underrepresented groups in computing are especially welcome.

PLMW @ PLDI 2021

Based on the success of previous PLMW @ PLDIs in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020, we are delighted to announce that PLMW @ PLDI 2021 will be co-located with the conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation. It will be held over two days: Monday June 21, 2021 and Tuesday June 22, 2022. The workshop program will cover important topics such as,

  • How to choose a research topic.
  • How to navigate the ups and downs of a research career.
  • How to leverage communication and your social network to better your research.

Like the last several PLMWs, PLMW @ PLDI 2021 will be a virtual event. Some parts of the workshop, including mentoring socials and panels, will only be available to participants who have applied and been accepted to PLMW.


PLMW @ PLDI will have scholarships available for students who – without these scholarships – would otherwise be unable to participate. Scholarships will cover full registration fees for both PLMW @ PLDI and the PLDI conference. As PLDI 2021 is a virtual conference, we do not anticipate covering any additional expenses for scholarship recipients.

Call for Applications

The application form is now live, at https://forms.gle/on8P4mPGtkvfRSPB8.

Applications from members of underrepresented groups in computing are especially welcome.

The deadline for fullest consideration is May 15. Applications received after May 15 will be considered as space permits. Applicants that submit by May 15 will be notified about acceptance before PLDI’s early registration deadline.

Please note that if you apply and are accepted to attend PLMW, you normally also receive a scholarship to attend PLDI. Scholarships will cover full registration fees for both PLMW @ PLDI and the PLDI conference. As PLDI 2021 is a virtual conference, we do not anticipate covering any additional expenses for scholarship recipients. If you are accepted, we will send you instructions for how to register for PLD free of cost.

The schedule is still being finalized, but we currently plan to have the following events.

Mentoring talks


Technical talk


  • Small-group mentoring meeting
  • Social event

PLMW is driven by two core values: diversity of the PL community and well-being of its members.

We believe that diversity, equity, and inclusion strengthen the PL community both on an academic and on a personal level. We recognize that members of underrepresented and marginalized groups—including but not limited to women, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, and people with disabilities—face unique challenges in their research careers. We are committed to creating a welcoming, inclusive, diverse environment that provides space for all to thrive and breathe. We are also committed to listening to your voices, admitting our mistakes, and working to address systemic issues that exist within the research community.

PLMW values the physical and mental well-being of all members of the PL community. We condemn all kinds of harassment, including sexual harassment. We are committed to talking openly about health and well-being issues that disproportionately affect the academic community, and to fighting the stigma of mental health issues.

PLMW organizers see its role in promoting these values as a three-part mission:

  • Expose junior students to the PL research community: We want to provide the students with a genuine picture of what a research career in PL is like and with networking opportunities within the field. We want to establish mentoring relationships between junior and senior community members, connecting people from different areas, backgrounds, and geographic locations. In doing so, we place particular emphasis on students who lack exposure to PL research at their home institutions.

  • Help students acquire skills necessary to successfully navigate a research career. These include technical and non-technical skills, such as reading research literature, technical communication, relationships with advisors, and coping with stressors of graduate school.

  • Foster diversity and inclusion in the PL community by reaching out to, and mentoring, students from underrepresented groups.

We would like to bring our attendees’ attention to a few SIGPLAN initiatives beyond PLMW that share our values and goals. SIGPLAN CARES is a group of distinguished, senior researchers, available as a confidential resource for anyone who faces discrimination or harassment. SIGPLAN-M is an international long-term mentoring program for programming languages researchers.

Questions? Use the PLMW@PLDI contact form.