Best of Strange Loop 2015

Chris Keathley ·


Several members of the Carbon Five team were in St. Louis this past weekend (9/24-26) for Strange Loop. The conference focuses on the intersection of computer science and industry. As usual the conference is committed to delivering tech-focused, fantastic content which has all been made available online.

Before you start wading through all those videos, however, we thought we could offer up a few of our favorites to share.

Propositions as Types by Philip Wadler

Dr. Wadler gives a lively overview of the history of computation and formal logic. Using this history he showcases how a deep understanding of the nature of the universe can be used to discover new programming language designs.


Evidence-Oriented Programming by Andreas Stefik

Every programmer has a favorite programming language. However, as Andreas Stefik explains, there is almost no rigorous science on how programming language design impacts people. Andreas gives a great history of evidence gathering in other fields and talks about how he is applying those same principles in the design of his “evidence-oriented” language Quorum.


Kolmogorov music by Christopher Ford

One of the loveliest talks at the conference. Christopher Ford explains the nature of Kolmogorov complexity, how it leads to deeper understanding of a concept, and juxtaposes that against live generation of music with Clojure.


Architectural Patterns of Resilient Distributed Systems by Ines Sombra

Ines Sombra gives an energetic presentation on designing systems for resiliency. She provides several examples of common failure scenarios in large scale deployments and showcases some of the ways that she has solved these failures. It’s a rapid fire talk that is filled with humor and tons of detailed information pulled from Ines’s research and experience.


Transactions: myths, surprises and opportunities by Martin Kleppmann

Martin Klappmann gives a very comprehensive breakdown of ACID transactions and serializability. He also explains many of the common issues with transactions and their implications in application design and microservices.


Distributed, Eventually Consistent Computations by Christopher Meiklejohn

A very detailed look at utilizing CRDTs and eventual consistency in applications. Christopher Meiklejohn gives some great details about new ways to think about data flow problems in distributed systems and showcases some practical applications for CRDTs. It’s a technical talk but is still accessible to those who are new to the world of distributed systems and concurrent programming.


Strange Loops: Capturing Knots With Powerful Notations by Kay Ye

With delightful hand drawn slides and actual string examples, Kay Ye gives an introduction to Knot Theory; which is itself a delightful mix of pure mathematics and everyday concepts. She discusses the different ways knots have been notated and how they have affected the problems mathematicians have been able to solve. Our favorite part is her description of John Conway’s beautiful results in the field.


From Protesting to Programming: Becoming a Tech Activist by Idalin Bobé

Idalin Bobé’s talk struck a chord with all of us. The story of her personally journey into the tech industry and her experience with Hands Up United was deeply moving and inspiring. It was excellent to see such an important topic being discussed at Strange Loop.


Strange Loop was jammed full of great speakers, content, and discussion. Hope to see you there next year!