S. Chasins
PhD Student in Computer Science, UC Berkeley
Current research: using programming by demonstration techniques to empower non-coders to write web scraping scripts
Current research demo: video demo

 

Research Area: Programming languages
Research Interests: Program synthesis, programming by demonstration, end-user programming
Advisor: Ras Bodik

I'm currently a fifth year in the UC Berkeley PhD program. With the support of an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and an ARCS Fellowship for Graduate Study, I'm studying programming languages and programming systems, with a focus on research that makes programming accessible to a wider audience. My undergraduate studies were at Swarthmore College, where I graduated with Highest Honors, receiving an Honors major in Computer Science, a course major in Behavioral Economics, and an Honors minor in Psychology.

My current research focuses on enabling non-programmers to scrape data from the web. End users may not be able to write code in a scraping language, but they can demonstrate how they would collect their data if they were going to scrape it by hand. I'm building a tool that allows a user to demonstrate how to collect the first row of a relational data set, and then generates a script to scrape the remaining rows. We've used this tool to collect datasets with hundreds of thousands of rows. See the tool here. See a demo of the tool here.

     At Berkeley, I have also worked on a project developing record and replay tools for the browser, and on the Act Project, helping synthetic biologists identify new pathways to chemicals of interest.
     In 2012 I was awarded first place in the undergraduate division Grand Finals of the ACM Student Research Competition, for the research I developed for my undergraduate thesis. I was also named a Runner-Up for the 2012 CRA Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award, a national award recognizing computing research done over the course of students' undergraduate educations.
     During my undergraduate career, I worked at Carnegie Mellon University, carrying out research on programming languages and compiler design under the guidance of Jonathan Aldrich. Earlier, I worked under Christian Poellabauer at the University of Notre Dame, conducting research on ambient sensing using smartphones. Another branch of my research - under Richard Wicentowski at Swarthmore College - focused on models for identifying the emotional polarity of a song through lyrics analysis. If you have questions about these projects, the information on this site, or any aspect of my work, please feel free to contact me.

Currently associated with:

  • UC Berkeley Logo University of California, Berkeley (All official and everything.)
  • UW PLSE Logo University of Washington PLSE (Not so official! But physically present since 2016.)

 
Sarah Chasins

schasins at cs dot berkeley dot edu
387 Soda Hall MC 1776, Berkeley, CA 94720-1776

EDUCATION University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
  • Pursuing a PhD in Computer Science.
  • Research areas: program synthesis, programming by demonstration, end-user programming.
  • Current research: synthesizing web scraping scripts from users' demonstrations of how to collect one row's data. Source code and demo here.
  • Recipient of an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.
  • Recipient of an ARCS Fellowship for Graduate Study.
  • Recipient of an EECS Chair's Excellence Award at UC Berkeley.
  • GPA: 4.0
Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA
  • Bachelor of Arts received 2012. Honors Major in Computer Science, Course Major in Behavioral Economics, Honors Minor in Psychology.
  • Graduated with Highest Honors.
  • GPA: 3.94; Computer Science GPA: 4.0
HONORS
  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowship recipient
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award recipient, 2014-2015
  • ARCS Fellowship for Graduate Study recipient
  • First Place Winner, Grand Finals ACM Undergraduate Student Research Competition, 2011
  • First Place Winner, SPLASH Conference ACM Undergraduate Student Research Competition, 2011
  • Runner-Up, 2012 CRA Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Two-time recipient of the William Randolph Hearst Scholarship
SELECTED PUBLICATIONS
  • Sarah Chasins, Rastislav Bodik, Skip Blocks: Reusing Execution History to Accelerate Web Scripts, OOPSLA 2017, Vancouver, October 2017.
  • Sarah Chasins, Phitchaya Mangpo Phothilimthana, Data-Driven Synthesis of Full Probabilistic Programs, CAV 2017, Heidelberg, July 2017.
  • Shaon Barman, Sarah Chasins, Rastislav Bodik, Sumit Gulwani, Ringer: Web Automation by Demonstration, OOPSLA 2016, Amsterdam, November 2016.
  • Sarah Chasins, Julie Newcomb, Using SyGuS to Synthesize Reactive Motion Plans , SYNT 2016, Toronto, July 2016.
  • Sarah Chasins, Shaon Barman, Sumit Gulwani, Rastislav Bodik, Browser Record and Replay as a Building Block for End-User Web Automation Tools, Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on World Wide Web (WWW) Companion, Florence, May 2015.
  • Sarah Chasins, Phitchaya Mangpo Phothilimthana, Dicer: A Framework for Controlled, Large-Scale Web Experiments, Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on World Wide Web (WWW) Companion, Florence, May 2015.
  • Joel Galenson, Cindy Rubio-Gonzalez, Sarah Chasins, Liang Gong, Research.js: Evaluating Research Tool Usability on the Web, Proceedings of the 5th Workshop on Evaluation and Usability of Programming Languages and Tools (PLATEAU), Portland, OR, October 2014.
  • Sarah Chasins, Efficient Implementation of the Plaid Language, Proceedings of Systems Programming Languages and Applications: Software for Humanity (SPLASH), Portland, OR, October 2011.
  • Christopher Miller, Sarah Chasins, Carolyn Farris, Justin Varner, Curtis Carmony, Christian Poellabauer, An Integrated Monitoring System for Mobile Phones, Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Sensing for App Phones (PhoneSense), Zurich, Switzerland, November 2010.
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE MSR Intern

Summer 2015


Microsoft Research, Redmond, WA
  • My internship advisor was Michael Carbin
  • Designed programming abstractions for specifying deep neural networks
UC Berkeley Computer Science Graduate Student Instructor

Fall 2014, Fall 2015


UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
  • Designed and taught discussion sections, designed and graded exams, designed homework assignments
  • Courses: Programming Languages and Compilers, Discrete Mathematics and Probability Theory
UC Berkeley Computer Science RA

Fall 2012 - Present


UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
  • Pursuing programming systems research
  • Current project: repo, video demo
Carnegie Mellon University Summer Researcher

Summer 2011


Carnegie Mellon University, Institute for Software Research, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Wrote the code generator and runtime for compilation from CMU's Plaid language to JavaScript
  • Developed novel representation for state at runtime, optimized state change
  • My work on this project won first place in an ACM Student Research Competition
University of Notre Dame REU Participant

Summer 2010


University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN
  • Research in ambient sensing, including smartphone app design and implementation
  • Developed algorithm to analyze pace and count strides with accelerometer data
  • Included research paper, presentation components; second place in poster competition
Computer Science Teaching Assistant, Head Teaching Assistant

Fall 2009-Spring 2012


Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA
  • Selected as Head TA when the department's Director of Student Services found a new job
  • As Head TA, took on responsibility for training new TAs, coordination duties, biweekly review lectures
  • Courses: Introduction to CS (twice), Data Structures and Algorithms (three times), Computer Organization (once)
  • Assisted students during lessons, lead outside lab and study sessions
  • Quickly identified problem spots and logical flaws in student programs, encouraged appropriate solutions
Game Theory and Strategic Behavior Teaching Assistant

Fall 2009-Spring 2011


Swarthmore College Department of Economics, Swarthmore, PA
  • Held office hours, wrote answer keys, graded problem sets
Graphic Design Editor

2008-2009


The Phoenix, Swarthmore, PA
  • Designed the paper's cover weekly, coordinated graphic design work within the issue
SKILLS Operating Systems: Linux, UNIX, Mac OSX, Windows, Android, iOS
Languages: JavaScript, Python, Java, Racket, Scheme, C++, C, Objective C, Ruby, PHP, HTML, CSS
Miscellaneous: MySQL, PostgreSQL, Ruby on Rails, Z3, OpenGL, CUDA
Spoken Languages: English, Spanish
LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE Computer Science Hiring Committee Member, Swarthmore

2011


Selected as the only student member of the search committee to hire a new professor

Student Philanthropy Council, Swarthmore

2011-2012


Nominated for and eventually selected for volunteer position on Student Philanthropy Council

 
Selected Publications

Skip Blocks: Reusing Execution History to Accelerate Web Scripts
Sarah Chasins, Rastislav Bodik
OOPSLA '17
pdf

Data-Driven Synthesis of Full Probabilistic Programs
Sarah Chasins, Phitchaya Mangpo Phothilimthana
CAV '17
pdf

Ringer: Web Automation by Demonstration
Shaon Barman, Sarah Chasins, Rastislav Bodik, Sumit Gulwani
OOPSLA '16
pdf

Using SyGuS to Synthesize Reactive Motion Plans
Sarah Chasins, Julie Newcomb
SYNT '16
pdf

Browser Record and Replay as a Building Block for End-User Web Automation Tools
Sarah Chasins, Shaon Barman, Rastislav Bodik, Sumit Gulwani
WWW '15: Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on World Wide Web Companion
pdf

Dicer: A Framework for Controlled, Large-Scale Web Experiments
Sarah Chasins, Phitchaya Mangpo Phothilimthana
WWW '15: Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on World Wide Web Companion
pdf

Research.js: Evaluating Research Tool Usability on the Web
Joel Galenson, Cindy Rubio-Gonzalez, Sarah Chasins, Liang Gong
PLATEAU '14: Proceedings of the 5th Workshop on Evaluation and Usability of Programming Languages and Tools
pdf

Biochemistry as a Programming Language
Saurabh Srivastava, Tim Hsiau, Sarah Chasins, Jonathan Kotker, Yen-Sheng Ho, Paul Ruan, Jeff Tsui, Stephi Hamilton, Jene Li, J. Christopher Anderson, Sanjit A. Seshia, and Rastislav Bodik
OBT '13: Proceedings of Off the Beaten Track (OBT/POPL)
pdf

An Efficient Implementation of the Plaid Language
Sarah Chasins
Swarthmore College Honors Thesis 2012
pdf

Efficient Implementation of the Plaid Language
Sarah Chasins
OOPSLA '11: Proceedings of Systems Programming Languages and Applications: Software for Humanity (SPLASH)
pdf

An Integrated Monitoring System for Smartphones
Christopher Miller, Sarah Chasins, Carolyn Farris, Justin Varner, Curtis Carmony, Christian Poellabauer
PhoneSense '10: Proceedings of the International Workshop on Sensing for App Phones
pdf