Background: A few years ago now, Eytan Bakshy designed a domain-specific language for online field experiments, PlanOut. I had the great fortune to intern with him at Facebook, where we investigated possible applications of static analysis to the experimental design space. While we started out focusing on generating contrasts and inferring probability of treatment assignment, we found there were errors and threats to validity of the experiments that only existed at the intersection of programs and experiments. At various points in this project, I worked with UMass folks Emery Berger and Eliot Moss on the PL side of things, and had a wonderful resource in causal inference in David Jensen. I presented this work at NEPLS in 2016 and OOPSLA 2019. It was recognized by my professional organizations via a SIGPLAN research highlight in 2020 and a CACM Research Highlight in 2021.
Current work: I am currently seeking students to work on several problems related to programmatically-defined experiments, including but not limited to: robustness checks for p-hacking, type systems for interventions, integration of experiments with passive/observational data collection mechanisms and subsequent data fusion, and inference over proxy variables in systems that do not allow for intervention. In particular, I am actively developing a chimeric language for expressing hypotheses and experiments together and have several small tasks that can be carved off for students interested in getting into interdisciplinary PL research. Please reach out and/or schedule a meeting with me if you are interested.