PLATEAU 2020 co-located with

11th annual workshop on the intersection of HCI and PL
Online Edition! November 2020
Co-located with

Programming languages exist to enable programmers to develop software effectively. But programmer effectiveness depends on the usability of the languages and tools with which they develop software. The aim of this workshop is to discuss methods, metrics and techniques for evaluating the usability of languages and language tools. The supposed benefits of languages and tools cover a large space, including making programs easier to read, write, and maintain; allowing programmers to write more flexible and powerful programs; and restricting programs to make them more safe and secure.

Virtual Workshop Format

This year, since SPLASH and PLATEAU will be virtual, the workshop will be quite different from past iterations. All accepted papers will record video presentations that will be posted to the PLATEAU website. The PLATEAU organizers will form a mentoring panel for each paper to provide feedback to the authors about how to improve and extend the work for publication in a conference or journal. This activity will serve many of the same goals as a doctoral symposium, but it will offer that style of mentorship to a broader range of researchers—undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral researchers and any others who want constructive advice. Mentors will be selected for expertise that is relevant to the individual paper. Authors are welcome to suggest one or more mentors; this can be any member of the research community from whom they'd like advice. The mentoring panel and authors will schedule a convenient time around the week of SPLASH to conduct a live mentoring session. Mentors will watch the recorded presentation in advance of the session.

  • Paper format: 4-page short papers, or 10-page long papers
  • Presentations: Pre-recorded presentations, 10 min for short papers, 15 min for long papers
  • Mentoring session: 30 min live meeting with paper-specific mentoring panel that provides advice
What to Submit

PLATEAU seeks papers from junior researchers who are interested in receiving mentoring from our panel of experts. We encourage both standard research papers and more unusual works—for instance, papers that describe works-in-progress or recently completed work, report on experiences gained, question accepted wisdom, raise challenging open problems, or propose speculative new approaches. In short, a PLATEAU submission should describe the work or perspectives on which the author wants to receive expert feedback.


Some particular areas of interest are:

  • empirical studies of programming languages
  • methodologies and philosophies behind language and tool evaluation
  • software design metrics and their relations to the underlying language
  • user studies of language features and software engineering tools
  • visual techniques for understanding programming languages
  • design of new programming languages
  • critical comparisons of programming paradigms
  • tools to support evaluating programming languages
  • psychology of programming
  • domain specific language (e.g. database languages, security/privacy languages, architecture description languages) usability and evaluation

PLATEAU is interested in a broad range of topics, and this list is not exhaustive. If you think your work might interest the PLATEAU community, please submit!


We accept both short and long papers. Short papers may be up to 4 pages. Long papers may be up to 10 pages.

Submissions should use the OASIcs format described here: Please also ensure that your submission is legible when printed on a black and white printer. In particular, please check that colors remain distinct and font sizes are legible.

Papers will be published in OASIcs ( at the authors’ discretion. If you anticipate publishing the same work at an additional venue that has double-publication restrictions, we are happy to withhold papers from the proceedings. We strongly encourage you to submit your PLATEAU papers to top-tier HCI and PL venues after receiving feedback from the panel and the PLATEAU community!

Papers should be submitted at:

Important Dates
September 4, 2020 (AoE time)
Paper Submission
November 2020
Organizing Committee
Sarah E. Chasins
University of California, Berkeley
Elena Glassman
Harvard University
Joshua Sunshine
Carnegie Mellon University