Brown PLT

Welcome to
Brown PLT!

International Code of Signals: P International Code of Signals: L International Code of Signals: T

Located in beautiful, historic Providence, our work unifies under themes of design, learning, and languages. We build languages, analyze them, and take them apart. We work on verification and other forms of formal methods. We create environments and other tools for working with languages and verifiers. We also write books for understanding these topics. If you want to learn more or join us,

get in touch


Pyret is the main language we're currently working on. We combine the best of functional and scripting languages to create an outstanding language for teaching and, down the road, general-purpose programming. Pyret is an umbrella for several efforts in compilation, type systems, error-reporting, language design, and much more.


Forge is a new tool and collection of languages for formal modeling. Forge is heavily inspired by Alloy, but offers its own opinionated take on modeling, analysis, and verification.


A Data-Centric Introduction to Computing is a new book that lays out our research-driven approach to learning programming, following our data-centric perspective. Suppporting it requires a lot of the other work described on this page.


Programming Languages: Application and Interpretation is our programming languages book, in widespread use. All three editions are available online.


We have five faculty members (Shriram Krishnamurthi, Kathi Fisler, Rob Lewis, Tim Nelson, Milda Zizyte), one post-doc (Will Crichton), five PhD students (Yanyan Ren, Kuang-Chen Lu, Elijah Rivera, Siddhartha Prasad, Skyler Austen), several undergraduates, and a research programmer (Dorai Sitaram).

Several other faculty in the department have done work that is related to ours, including Maurice Herlihy, Vasileios Kemerlis, Michael Littman, Steve Reiss, Daniel Ritchie, Malte Schwarzkopf, Nikos Vasilakis.

Finally, we also collaborate with several faculty at other universities (most notably Ben Lerner and Joe Politz) and with (the rest of) Bootstrap.


We are very convenient located in the greater-Boston area in the Northeast of the USA. If you're in the area, let us know! Many of our talks are co-located with the systems folk.

Other Groups

Our take on programming languages strikes a balance between theory, systems, HCI, and more. As a result we often work closely with people in the systems and computing education groups.


We often blog about our work. Our blog is a convenient, lightweight way to learn about some of our research.


Thanks to our convenient location, we host numerous speakers. Since we share many interests with them, our talks are co-located with the systems folk.


All of our papers are online. They have associated repositories of code, data, proofs, and other artifiacts, as appropriate.


Most of our recent work is in our github repository, although individual papers have their own repositories elsewhere. In general, a paper's page above is the best source for material about that paper.

Other Systems

We view research and building systems as complementary and mutually-reinforcing. We have worked (and in some cases continue to work) on research-driven systems used by many other people, including JavaScript and Web tools, Flowlog and related tools, Racket and DrRacket, WeScheme, Margrave, Flapjax, FrTime, Continue, Captain Teach, and PerMission.