About me

I'm a PhD student in the Programming Languages Research Group at University of Bristol, supervised by Meng Wang and Roly Perera. My current research investigates the formalisation and implementation of algebraic effects and probabilistic programming languages. My other interests include functional programming (in particular, Haskell), type-level programming, type theory, embedded domain-specific languages (eDSLs), and recursion schemes.


Research

I'm currently exploring the abstraction of algebraic effects, extensible data, and row polymorphism in probabilistic programming language design; the intention is to encode probabilistic models as first-class citizens (hence being modular and composable) whilst being simultaneously general-purpose (i.e. suitable for all forms of simulation and inference). I'm also investigating how complex inference algorithms can be modularly implemented using effect handlers as program transformations on models.

My previous work explored a structured (categorical) approach of using recursion schemes to implement neural networks, letting compositionality be promoted in new ways. In particular, I show how neural networks can be represented as fixed-points of recursive data structures, and forward and back propagation as catamorphisms (folds) and anamorphisms (unfolds) over these structures.


Papers

 Jan, 2022      Linked visualisations via Galois dependencies
                  R.Perera, M.Nguyen, T.Petricek, M.Weng
                        POPL ‘22
 Aug, 2021      Composable, Modular Probabilistic Models [Poster]
                  M.Nguyen, R.Perera, M.Weng
                        ICFP ‘21, Student Research Competition
 Jun, 2019       Modelling Neural Networks with Recursion Schemes [Poster]
                  M.Nguyen, N.Wu
                        Masters Dissertation, University of Bristol

Talks

 2021      Composable, Modular Probabilistic Models
                       IFL ‘21, ICFP ‘21 (Poster)

Teaching

2019 - 2022
I give talks/seminars to the Programming Languages Research Group and undergraduates at the University of Bristol.
2020 - 2021
I've acted as the main supervisor for a 4th year student in their masters dissertation.
2017 - 2020
I've acted as a teaching assistant for the Functional Programming, Language Engineering, and Advanced Topics in Programming Languages units at the University of Bristol.


Awards

2021 ACM Student Research Competition, 1st Place (ICFP '21)
2019 Bloomberg Award - Best Machine Learning Paper, University of Bristol
2018 Graphcore Award - Best Group Project, University of Bristol
2017 Netcraft Award - Top Ten Achieving CS Students, University of Bristol