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Finnbar Keating

Hi, I'm Finnbar (they/them), a PhD student supervised by Dr Gihan Mudalige (2020-2024). My work considers the use of functional programming (particularly Haskell) in low-level code, as to verify it more easily and thus prevent errors in contexts where they are particularly costly.

I also did my undergraduate degree (MEng Computer Science, first-class) here at Warwick (2016-2020).

Research Interests

My PhD work focuses on working with the abstraction of memory in low-level languages - storage locations which contain some information and can be mutated as part of program execution - in pure functional languages such as Haskell. While Haskell can work with memory from lower level languages like C, you have to explicitly order memory accesses by writing your code in an imperative style; this is not ideal in a pure functional language.

As such, we look at alternatives for working with memory in a more functional style. My current plan is to use ideas from functional reactive programming - which allows you to declare how data sources affect each other - to observe some memory cell and perform operations on related memory cells when that cell changes. This means that you do not have to specify an order of execution, just relationships between memory operations. An example of existing work in this area is the Copilot language, which partially explores this idea by adding declarative runtime checks written in Haskell to existing C code.

My general research interests focus around effect systems (particularly graded monads), functional reactive programming, type-level programming and foreign function interfaces.

Publications Link opens in a new window

Keating, Finnbar and Gale, Michael B. (2021)

Graded Monads and Type-Level Programming for Dependence Analysis. (pdf)

Published in Haskell Symposium '21. Available at DOI 10.1145/3471874.3472981.

Conferences and Workshops

Date Conference - Location Contribution
2022
June 2022 Meeting on Graded Types - Hybrid (Kent) Attended
2021
Dec 2021 WPCCS 2021 - Hybrid (Warwick) Talk (slides), which won an award for best presentation of the HPC morning session!
Aug 2021 Haskell Symposium '21 - Online (South Korea) Talk (video, slides)
April 2021 Midlands Graduate School 2021 - Online (Sheffield) Attended
March 2021 BCTCS 2021 - Online (Liverpool) Talk (slides with speaker notes, abstract)
2020
December 2020 WPCCS 2020 - Online (Warwick) Attended
2018-2019 (as undergraduate)
December 2019 WPCCS 2019 - Warwick Attended
September 2018 S-REPLS 10 - Birkbeck, University of London Attended

Teaching

I have taught on the following modules. This has involved teaching in labs and marking coursework.

  • Functional Programming (CS141): 2019-20 (as an undergraduate), 2020-22
  • Compiler Design (CS325): 2020-22 (only teaching labs)
  • Formal Systems Development (CS412): 2021-22 (only teaching labs)

Other Interests

I play trombone (grade 8) and bass trombone. Currently I play in Warwick Big Band, although played in Wind Orchestra before the pandemic. I also enjoy learning new instruments, although I'm not good enough at them yet to list them here!

I was also involved in the running of Warwick Tabletop Games and Roleplaying Society from 2018-22, taking a variety of positions in the Tabletop Exec (Comms Officer 2018-19, Secretary 2019-20, President 2020-21 and Web Admin 2021-22). During my time in exec, I was a big part of organising most of the society's special events - everything from megagames (one of which won an SU award) to three online charity streams (Tabletop Radio 2020 (online), 2021 (online), and 2022 (in-person) which together raised nearly £3700 for LGBT+ charities) and even an escape room. These involved leading teams of event runners, use of technical skills in complex streaming setups and building bespoke software for events, and using a kazoo to raise a surprising amount of money1.

While I am no longer directly responsible for running the society, I'm still a big part of it and am looking forward to all of the stuff run in the years to come! (Also you should come join us, we have games.)

1 Perhaps most surprisingly of all, none of this money was on the condition that I stopped playing kazoo.

Contact me

Email: f.keating [at] warwick.ac.uk